A STAIRLIFT company has introduced new technology across its fleet of vehicles to reduce fuel consumption and cut emissions – as well as boost driver safety.

Acorn Mobility’s 136 commercial vehicles have been fitted with the award-winning Lightfoot in-cab technology and rewards platform.

The system encourages drivers to achieve greater efficiency from their vehicle, with a special dashboard display device providing feedback on their performance and awarding scores.

Competitions and rewards can be accessed as an incentive to maintain a smoother driving style.

Figures have shown that the technology helps reduce harmful emissions by up to a fifth, ‘at fault’ accidents by up to 40 per cent and wear and tear costs by 45 per cent.

Steeton-based Acorn Mobility, the parent company of Acorn Stairlifts, says the system has already resulted in a miles-per-gallon saving of 12.3 per cent thanks to greater driving efficiency.

Pete Hodgson – the firm’s UK and European fleet/transport manager – said that with the considerable mileage clocked-up by its drivers at home and overseas, Acorn had recognised the need to cut fuel use and emissions.

Upgrading to hybrid or electric vehicles was dismissed as too expensive, and the Lightfoot scheme was trialled.

“The results were instantaneous and enough to convince us to adopt Lightfoot across our entire fleet of vans and light commercial vehicles,” said Mr Hodgson.

“Choosing Lightfoot was an absolute no-brainer – there is real beauty in its simplicity. By engaging drivers in a fun and rewarding way, we have seen huge benefits, both to the business and our drivers.

“Like us, Lightfoot operates at the cutting edge of their industry and shares many of the same customer-first values that we do. Working with them has been, and continues to be, a real pleasure.”

Lightfoot said it was delighted that Acorn had adopted the scheme.

Founder and chief executive officer, Mark Roberts, said: “Acorn Mobility’s drivers have really embraced Lightfoot. They’ve adopted our inter-league function, which enables drivers from different regions to compete and see who’s the most efficient. In the trial, 81 per cent of drivers hit our ‘elite driver’ standard.”