Energy efficient driving - DriveSmart

Reduce traction energy costs by up to 25%

Detailed rail route analysis to identify optimum movement sequences alongside bespoke driver training

How DriveSmart can help you

  • Traction energy costs reduced by 10% to 25%
  • Combined modelling and driver education package
  • Fit for light rail, metro and self-contained conventional rail routes
  • No in-cab display's, DAS or retrofit of the fleet

DriveSmart helps rail operators to reduce energy use along a route wihout impacting on service perfomance or reliability
These graphs show the impact of DriveSmart during a field test on the Edinburgh Tram route, where a reduction of energy use did not mean a drop in service speed.

The graph below shows how there was a 20% reduction in total energy usage during the 15km distance from Edinburgh Airport to the city centre.

  1. Each individual route is modelled by a software-based simulator, developed by The University of Birmingham Centre for Rail Research and Education (with initial sponsorship from UK Tram), to find the most appropriate movements under a range of different scenarios, such as variable weather conditions.
  2. The simulator identifies the optimum coasting points and cruising speeds specific to the route's unique gradients and curvatures as well as the vehicle's own characteristics. The software calculates the specific points where the driver can increase speed or begin coast towards a stopping point without drawing on the accelerator or braking excessively.

  3. Once tested under true operational conditions, the evidence is compiled into a bespoke driver training programme that is delivered to your driver teams showing how they can help to minimise energy usage yet maintain consistent total journey times.

With no in-cab display - and thus compatible with systems that use line-of-sight driving - the focus is on empowering your driver teams, rather than instructing them on what to do. DriveSmart is about allowing train and tram drivers to apply their knowledge as they see fit and when conditions allow.


Why choose Ricardo's DriveSmart

Reduce costs

Proven operational capability to reduce traction energy costs by up to 25%

Low cost installation

No in-cab displays, DAS or retrofit of equipment to the driver cab required

Individual contribution

Driver training focuses on how they can play a role in reducing energy use

Energy efficient driving - DriveSmart


This service is offered within the following sectors.

View our case studies

Edinburgh Trams Energy Efficiency

Read case study

Riding Sunbeams - the solar powered railway

Read case study

California High-Speed Railway

Read case study

Energy efficient driving - DriveSmart Resources

Condition Based Maintenance

Read brochure

How automotive digital engineering techniques are improving efficiency and performance and reducing risk, cost and time to market for energy transition solutions

Read blog

Santos Batista-Nunez wins Inspirational Leadership Award at Ricardo Leading Lights

Read article

Ricardo at Professional MotorSport World Expo 2023

Read event

Book an appointment