In 1996, NedTrain Consulting built three prototypes of a driving advice system called “Economymeter”. They were tested in regular passenger service for two years. The tests revealed a saving potential of 6 - 7 % of traction energy.
Currently (2002), a wide-spread introduction of a driving advice system is discussed at NS Reizigers. A roll-out could take place in the context of the project “Tracking and Tracing” which foresees the installation of GPS and GSM as well as on-board computers on all trains in order to optimise train operation.
According to NS Reizgers, the wide-spread introduction of a driving advice system is still uncertain. Some decision makers have doubts about the effectiveness of the measure since the payback depends on the behaviour of the drivers which is difficult to predict. If a driving advice system is introduced, the time horizon for implementation is estimated to be 1 – 2 years.
Furthermore, the specific features and technological realisation of the system are not determined yet. It is not clear whether the Economymeter developed by NedTrain Consulting will be used. During in-service testing drivers gave a rather positive feedback but suggested some improvements:
The Econometer in its present state only gives coasting recommendations. Drivers suggest to integrate speed recommendations.
So far no feed-back is given to drivers about their performance. This cpould be achieved by the installation of energy meters.