In 2016, Scout Environmental (Scout) designed and implemented Smart Drive Challenge (SDC): an innovative, data-driven program that encouraged participants to adopt efficient driving behaviours and reduce their driving distance through the use of alternative modes of transportation. The program took place in Ontario’s Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and British Columbia’s Capital Region (CRD) areas, with a second, separate SDC taking place later that year in Metro Vancouver.
These reductions were to be achieved by a combination of driving better (improving participant fuel efficiency) and driving less (reducing Vehicle Kilometers Travelled (VKTs)). Participant driving behaviours were targeted through a combination of:
According to Metro Vancouver’s independent analysis, conducted by a University of British Columbia Sustainability Scholar, the following was determined:
The main focus of the study was to determine the effects of the training on changes in inner-city driving (most specifically within the Metro Vancouver Regional District (MVRD)) rather than cross-country travel. Analysis of the subset data indicated significant changes in post-training driving behaviour.
In 2017 the program evolved, moving away from the vehicle data logging technology and placing more emphasis on online training resources and self-directed learning management systems. Our educational model provided a range of training videos and resources focused on efficient driving, vehicle maintenance, vehicle technology, low- and zero-emissions vehicles, and active and public forms of transportation. In short, SDC focused on a free online education-based learning hub that educated and empowered drivers to:
After completing their training, participants were challenged to apply what they learned in their daily lives. At regular intervals, Scout followed-up with participants to gauge their intended and actual behavioural changes and determine the overall impacts of the program.
SDC 2.0 again relied on multi-stakeholder collaboration, bringing together private, government, non-profit, and academic partners to engage drivers in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Nova Scotia.