TomTom has launched a new option for its WORKsmart range of commercial sat-nav devices that allow fleet managers to monitor the habits of their drivers.

In addition to the usual visual and spoken driving directions, Webfleet OptiDrive gives real-time driver feedback for such things as fuel consumption based on current speed and driving actions (braking, cornering) that are considered to be too “harsh”.

The idea is to promote safer driving for commercial vehicle operators and drivers are able to see an on-screen summary that shows pertinent statistics for journey, such as average fuel consumption. Driver statistics can then be viewed in more detail back at base.

TomTom reckons that fuel consumption and maintenance bills make up nearly 30% of the total cost of owning a vehicle and both factors are affected by driving style. A fluid, consistent driving style is more fuel-efficient and Webfleet OptiDrive is intended to encourage such behaviour. Rather than, say, to record when drivers have exceed the speed limit…

There’s no news on whether or not these features will trickle down into TomTom’s consumer range of sat-nav devices, but it seems like a logical addition at some point.

With fuel becoming increasingly expensive and vehicles’ carbon footprints an increasing concern for many drivers, ways to reduce the cost of vehicle ownership are becoming more of a concern and a change of driving style is a free and easy way to help.