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Drivers’ Lottery offers van drivers cash prizes for driving better

  • Lightfoot telematics system incentivises better driving
  • Prizes and other rewards encourage better mpg, fewer crashes
  • Available to businesses and private drivers

Written by CJ Hubbard Published: 19 May 2021 Updated: 19 May 2021

Win prizes for driving better – that’s the attention-grabbing claim for something called The Drivers’ Lottery. Too good to be true? Well, see what you think after you’ve read this.

What is The Drivers’ Lottery?

The Drivers’ Lottery is a prize draw created by a Devon-based tech firm called Lightfoot.

It’s a means of engaging company car and van drivers with their employers’ ambitions to improve driving standards, reducing running costs, pollution and accidents in the process. It works by providing a direct incentive to drive as carefully and responsibly as you can.

Lightfoot claims there’s a one-in-10 chance of winning, and that weekly cash prizes amounting to more than £50,000 in total have been given out over the past 12 months. That amount is set to triple in 2021.

Other awards include supercar driving experiences, short breaks, chocolate hampers and consumer electronics.

How does The Drivers’ Lottery work?

Lightfoot’s technology – which is backed by the government’s Innovate UK agency as well as being endorsed by a number of industry bodies and insurance providers – is described as a ‘Fitbit for cars and vans’.

It combines a small device that connects directly to the engine’s electronic control systems and a smartphone app.

The device contains a number of lights, divided between a ‘long-term performance indicator’ and a series of ‘real-time live performance indicators’ that give the driver instant feedback on how they’re driving in the moment. Both operate a traffic light type system, meaning Green is good, Amber is ok and Red is bad.

Lightfoot in-cab device - size comparison with coins
Lightfoot in-cab device - size comparison with coins

Since taking your eyes off the road isn’t generally a good idea, Lightfoot can also ‘talk’ to warn the driver if their standards are slipping.

Keep a long-term ‘Elite Driver standard’ performance score of 85% or more, and you’re in with the chance of winning a prize – the level being set at 85% because Lightfoot says it understands that you can’t drive perfectly all the time. Sometimes you need to speed up when overtaking slower traffic or using a slip road, for instance.

The technology is said to take account of vehicle load and the gradient (slope) of the road, so better understands the reasons a driver may be doing what they’re doing.

The instant feedback of the in-cab device provides driver coaching that’s apparently effective within just a few weeks, while the app provides a sense of community – drivers can compete in leagues to demonstrate their personal superiority – as well as other useful features, competitions, incentives discounts, and the aforementioned cash prizes.

An add-on Driver ID module ensures that the right scores are attributed to the right driver, in cases where the van is shared between a number of employees.

Isn’t this just telematics in a fancy dress?

Well, yes – Lightfoot does provide a full suite of ‘Elite’ telematics functionality for fleet management purposes. But it also claims to have a ‘driver first’ approach, and that rewards are a better way of achieving long-term improvements in driver behaviour.

The idea being that if you incentivise drivers to behave better when behind the wheel of the van, rather than criticising them when they don’t, you get much better engagement.

‘The carrot not the stick,’ as Lightfoot puts it.

How much can it really help?

Lightfoot says companies can expect to see:

  • > Up to 15% reduction in fuel consumption
  • > Up to 15% reduction in CO2 emissions
  • > Up to a 40% reduction in at-fault accidents
  • > Up to 45% reduction in down time

All the above stats are backed by academic studies or insurance providers. Brakes and tyres should also last longer, reducing maintenance costs.

The technology has been developed in partnership with the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and ‘leading driver-behaviour experts’ at the University of Bath.

Supposedly only 3% of drivers achieve the 85% Elite Driver standard with Lightfoot switched off, while 80% can manage it with Lightfoot switched on.

What about driver privacy?

As Parkers has been investigating, a lot of data is produced by cars and vans, which can be potentially lucrative as well as raising privacy concerns.

Lightfoot in-cab device - on dashboard
Lightfoot in-cab device - on dashboard

The Lightfoot system is fully customisable so that fleets can configure it to collect only the data they want. GPS tracking can be switched off completely (it doesn’t rely on this for driver coaching anyway), and Lightfoot can be disabled outside of business hours if you prefer.

What if I’m not part of a large company and still want to get involved?

‘Private Motorist’ versions of the Lightfoot are available from places such as Halfords, where it’s currently priced £229 – with an on-going subscription fee after the first 12 months of £3.99.

This uses the same technology, and gives you access to The Drivers’ Lottery and other prizes.

As the device plugs directly into the OB2 data port, some older vehicles won’t be compatible. But those that are also get vehicle health monitoring and fault diagnostic alerts as part of the package.

Lightfoot Drivers’ Lottery explainer video

Also read:

>> Surveillance Capitalism and your car

>> Van insurance costs

>> What is FordPass Pro and FordPass Connect?

>> What is Mercedes Pro Connect?