Observing diverse driving conditions from three continents across the globe, the study used a combination of the latest wearable emotion tracking devices with chatbot technology, GPS, as well as weather and traffic information and personality questionnaires, to give the most complete picture of what drivers are experiencing on the road.
Nearly 3,000 drivers will participate in the study across 10 countries around the world.
In South Africa, the findings revealed that despite intense traffic conditions across the country, it’s not all doom and gloom.
Journey times of those studied in South Africa proved to be shorter than motorists in Europe and Asia, averaging 27 minutes per trip verses up to 40 minutes in the Netherlands and 60 minutes in the Philippines.
South African motorists in the study saved more time on the road than motorists in Asia at an average speed of 35km/h, compared with just 14km/h in Malaysia and 18km/h in the Philippines.
Furthermore, the study uncovered the tactics that South African motorists are using to remain focused and calm on the roads, and an overall high-performance mindset amongst the nation’s drivers:
Move to the music: drivers who listen to music achieved the strongest driver performance scores. Similarly, drivers who made a conscious effort to relax while driving listening music and other mindfulness techniques performed best behind the wheel.
Always look on the bright side: drivers that displayed a high-performance, optimistic mindset and are full of life achieved the highest driving performance and smoothest journeys.
Family comes first: who we drive with determines how we drive. Drivers who reported to have children, family members or friends in the car used less harsh driving techniques and achieved higher smooth trip scores.
Rural vs urban drivers: motorists in rural areas had the highest performance and smooth scores compared with city slickers.
Passion pays off: drivers who reported a passion or enjoyment of driving paid more attention to their performance on the road, and achieved higher performance scores.
Dr. Chris Brauer, Director of Innovation at Goldsmiths, University of London, said: “The nature of this study allows us to observe not only the impact of external factors such as weather and traffic on drivers whilst on the road, but also the internal factors that we as drivers have more control over.”
“Looking at drivers in South Africa, we can see that the highest performing drivers displayed an overall sense of positivity and optimism, making a conscious effort to relax and stay chilled behind the wheel by listening to music.”
Shell’s commitment to research extends beyond fuel innovation and the customer experience. Brand, Fuels and Customer Experience Manager at Shell SA Frans Maluleke said: “This experiment was an interesting and valuable insight for us about our valuable customers and the South African market in general.”
“We understand that drivers face many challenges on their daily commutes. Our aim is to utilise the findings of the research to enhance the customer experience and design offers that cater for their needs”, adds Maluleke, “We are confident this is a step forward to our journey of becoming South Africa’s favourite forecourt retailer and to making customers life’s journeys better.”
Shell recently launched its next generation of advanced fuel formulations enhanced with Dynaflex technology that helps to clean and protect key fuel system components such as intake valves and fuel injectors from the build-up of performance robbing deposits.
This keeps engines clean and protected for efficient running. The new fuels are the result of over five years and many hours in research and development, to help enhance the efficiency of customers’ journeys. The new fuels formulations are available at Shell stations nationwide.
“We place customers at the heart of everything we do, and we aim to give them one less worry on the road”, says Maluleke, “We hope motorists will experience the benefits of our new fuels, enhanced with our latest DYNAFLEX technology, so that they can enjoy better journeys on the road”.