Software solution adds a fuel-saving virtual coach to the cab

Dec. 18, 2013

A new software solution that is available on smartphones, tablets or through in-vehicle integration with existing systems can help drivers reduce fuel usage through real-time coaching, said developer LinkeDrive.

PedalCoach constantly calculates the optimal fuel rate and dynamically adapts to the road, load and driver, LinkeDrive said. The advantage of this patent-pending approach is that it sets a moving mpg target that doesn’t penalize drivers for hauling heavy loads or operating an older truck.

The system uses intuitive audio and visual feedback gauge that LinkeDrive said is easily understood. Drivers simply keep the PedalCoach gauge in the green section to improve performance. According to the company, this reduces the time necessary to train drivers on progressive shifting and smart acceleration.

PedalCoach also includes a pay-for-performance environment that filters out factors out of the driver’s control, such as truck type and model.

“We fundamentally believe that drivers hold the key to maximizing fuel economy,” said Jeff Baer, founder and CEO. “They want to do a good job and they want to hear it so that they can take pride in their work. And we have also learned that ex post factor driver scorecards, aggressive speed governors, unfair fuel bonuses, and the like have not been very effective and actually can create quite a bit of dissent and tension between drivers and fleet managers. PedalCoach changes the game by playing the role of a virtual coach and providing positive, on-the-fly feedback that is fun, easy to follow, and appropriate for changing the circumstances that are out of drivers’ control.”

The solution also allows fleet managers to securely access driver and truck analytics to track trends, compare drivers, assess differences in truck models and evaluate regional and seasonal variances in performance.

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