Foot-LITE – A SMART Driving Tutor

Foot-LITE smart driving aid.

Everybody knows they are a good driver. However, it may also be true that after passing our driving test we may increase our driving skills but we may also start to adapt behaviour patterns that may not necessarily be optimised. So how can we help? How can we use available technology to support drivers in developing SMARTer driving skills to benefit both drivers and driving? With the support of the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) HORIBA MIRA led a consortium called Foot-LITE to answer that question.

The aim of the Foot-LITE project was to create a revolutionary driver information system designed to educate and encourage safer and greener driving. Using existing knowledge and technologies, a user friendly smart phone application was developed that could process data from the vehicle and additional sensors that could detect how well the driver was driving and give real-time feedback to the driver on how their driving matched to accepted “rules” on driving style. These rules were based upon the guidance and training of the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

The driver was presented in the vehicle with an innovative display on the SmartPhone that gave this real-time feedback on aspects such as levels of acceleration/deceleration, lane positioning and departure warning, headway, and gear change advice. After a journey data collected by the SmartPhone could be sent to an on-line server and the driver could review how well they had driven on their journey and receive further personal tutoring on their driving on the web.

HORIBA MIRA partners on the project were TRW Connekt, Ricardo, HW Communications, IAM, Hampshire County Council, Zettlex, Autotxt, and Brunel, Newcastle and Southampton Universities.