Case Study

Edinburgh Trams - Driving Energy Efficiency

Edinburgh Trams - Driving Energy Efficiency
Published: 07 March 2019 Client name: Edinburgh Trams Service provided: DriveSmart

Energy efficient driving through route analysis and training

Developed in partnership with the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, DriveSmart provides detailed route modelling analysis to help promote energy-efficient driver skills in daily operations.

The focus of DriveSmart is on helping driver teams understand how they can help reduce energy use and apply more efficient driving techniques when conditions allow. There is no in-cab display, making DriveSmart compatible with light rail, metro systems and self-contained conventional routes with line-of-sight driving.

For each route, DriveSmart’s software identifies the optimum movement sequences - such as coasting points and cruising speeds that can help minimise energy usage within a constant total journey time.

This information is used as the basis of bespoke training programmes show drivers where they can reduce energy use at certain points of the route.

We have all been impressed with the impact of DriveSmart on day-to-day operations, with a 17% reduction of energy use on the sections where it is used Colin Kerr, Engineering Manager, Edinburgh Trams
We have all been impressed with the impact of DriveSmart on day-to-day operations, with a 17% reduction of energy use on the sections where it is used

The system entered into operation on a section of the Edinburgh Tram route in April 2018. At the end of the first year in operation, it had supported a 17% reduction of energy use on the sections where it was used, equating to a 10% reduction across the full route (including sections where DriveSmart is not used).

“The initial modelling was a revealing exercise in itself, pinpointing how we could take advantage of the route’s gradients and alignments to reduce energy use,” says Colin Kerr, Engineering Manager for Edinburgh Trams. 

“The driver training was delivered at the right pitch to secure the team’s buy-in, and the subsequent results show how an improved awareness of a route’s characteristics and more coasting by drivers can make an immediate and positive contribution to operational efficiency”.

A short film produced in cooperation with Edinburgh Trams (see the above section), provides a short overview of both the system and the driver team's experiences over the first 12 months.

During this period Edinburgh Trams was highly commended for environmental sustainability at the Global Light Rail Awards 2018 for their adoption of DriveSmart.

For more information about DriveSmart, click here

"Let the tram do the work"

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