Last year, a study conducted by the University of Virginia found that students who kept track of their driving ended up driving less than those who didn’t. Students that were given feedback on the money they saved on gas and the pollution they prevented also used alternative means of transportation.
This was an investigation into how effective behavioral modification techniques may be; automobile companies are beginning to use energy monitors and feedback to influence people to drive more efficiently.
Out of the 128 students in the study, those who received monetary and pollution information about their driving choices drove 86 miles less than they originally intended to. Those who recorded the trips they avoided drove 34 miles less, and the students who received only one type of feedback hit the roads 48 miles less.
I don’t think this is a revolutionary study, but I do think it helps reinforce the notion that if you write stuff down and are disciplined, you can change your behavior.
Unless you’re a kid in Japan, where you’ll soon be encouraged to drive while you’re a kid. At the Tokyo Toy Show last week, Toyota introduced the Camatte concept car. It’s a 9-foot long Toyota powered by an electric motor and lead-acid battery.
The car has a top-speed of 25 mph and seats three, though the Camatte is not street-legal.
It seems like Toyota is using the concept car as a tool to get kids to fall in love with driving (which is a pretty good bet, because there were not a whole lot of things better than driving a golf cart when you were a kid) at an early age so they’ll be more apt to buy a car when the kids are street legal.
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