Volkswagen – Reduce Speed Dial

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Look at how Volkswagen set up a small reminder from a loved one to slow drivers down just as they were about to speed.

At $13.5 billion in 2014, Volkswagen spent more than any other firm on research and development, with a large portion of that sum going towards improving vehicle safety.

The safety of Volkswagens was improving. But drivers were not.

The leading cause of road accidents and the most important element in determining the severity of those incidents was driver conduct, particularly speeding. Momentary mistakes of judgement were the most hazardous driving choices.

The goal of designing safer automobiles was front and centre for Volkswagen. However, safety ratings do not influence drivers’ actions; the brand could play a role in testing out solutions that might.

New Zealand’s Colenso BBDO and Finch were curious as to whether or not they might influence impulsive conduct in the crucial moments leading up to its first appearance.

The result was the Volkswagen Reduce Speed Dial project.

Volkswagen Golfs were given to four households. The parents had no idea that Volkswagen had manufactured a new speedometer panel. While they adhere to all the clarity and safety regulations of a conventional speedometer, one of their children individually hand-wrote the dial. Whenever the parents felt the desire to speed, this little mnemonic would remind them of what’s important in life.

There was a marked difference between the test families. There was a distinct purpose for each family vehicle. To learn how this theory played out and whether it was possible to develop safer drivers, the two organisations tracked the families’ driving patterns. A few outcomes

After installing the personalised speed dial, the following occurred:

  • One family did not incur any speeding fines.
  • Another family lowered their top speed from 123 km/h to 104 km/h.
  • Half of the drivers saw a decrease in their maximum speeds.
  • Three of the four drivers saw a 50% decrease in the frequency of speeding in 100 km/h zones.
  • In multiple driving situations, all of the families saw a speed reduction.

The most obvious solution is usually the one people miss, as is the case with most difficulties. It was a difficult process, but it was great to see a loved one’s reminder on the screen just when you’re considering speeding. It makes you appreciate everything in your life more.

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