Brits driving differently

  • New research from Hyundai reveals there are a staggering 36,750 different ways to drive, with even the type of car we own having an impact
  • The manufacturer has partnered with Dr Mark Hadley, from the University of Warwick, and driving expert Gary Lamb to create The Drive Different Test (DDT) - to mark the growth of its hydrogen, electric and hybrid fleet, and to explore what driving might  look like in a zero emission world from 2040 and beyond
  • The DDT compares driving styles in alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFV) with petrol and diesel cars (ICE) and includes pupil tracking software, facial recognition, steering grip sensors and artificial intelligence

- Hyundai today releases new research that shows there are 36,750 different ways to drive, with even the type of car you drive affecting your driving style.

The figure has been reached by identifying the six most important factors that impact driving style and developing a real life measurement for each.    

The motoring manufacturer also commissioned a survey of 2,000 UK motorists to explore attitudes toward driving styles, alternative fuel vehicles (AFV), and common misconceptions about electric cars as society transitions to a zero emission motoring future.

The research revealed how British drivers currently identify their own driving style, with the top five overall being:

1. Confident - 28%
2. Fair and measured - 24%
3. Calm - 19%
4. Nervous - 7%
5. Aggressive - 7%

Men were more likely to label themselves as confident drivers (31%) than women (25%), while women were more likely to describe themselves as ‘nervous’ behind the wheel.

The survey also looked at AFV owners specifically, and their attitude to driving, and found that;

  • 92 per cent say they never beep at another driver
  • Over two-fifths (42%) slow down and let buses move in front of them
  • Over one third (37%) always ensure they thank other drivers on the road

But it wasn’t all generosity and courtesy on the road for AFV drivers. One fifth (20%) ‘amber gamble’ and speed up on an amber light to get through the traffic lights.

This comes as Hyundai marks its growing alternatively fuelled vehicle fleet which includes a brand new IONIQ Electric and KONA Electric, alongside the NEXO; a hydrogen fuel cell that cleans the air as it drives and offers a driving range of over 400 miles.

AFV owners were more likely to regard themselves as calm (21%) behind the wheel than their internal combustion engine (ICE) rivals (19%). This is possibly reflected by the tunes they listen to as they drive - with AFV drivers almost three times as likely to listen to classical or jazz music than those in an internal combustion engine car.

To further investigate how driving styles will continue to evolve as AFVs become more prominent, Hyundai has developed The Drive Different Test, an in-car test that analyses six core driving parameters set out by expert driving instructor Gary Lamb and compares them in a petrol or diesel car, versus an alternatively fuelled vehicle. Pupil tracking, facial recognition, heart rate and smoothness in using the foot and hand controls are just some of the metrics which have been incorporated into the ground-breaking test which is used to build a motorist’s driving profile.

There are many things that impact someone’s driving style, their technical skill of course but also confidence, experience and even the music they listen to and until they actually get behind the wheel you can never predict which way it will go. Over my 25 years as a driving instructor I’ve seen them all. What’s interesting now is that alternatively fuelled vehicles are also affecting our driving style. As 2040 draws nearer, and our cities and motorways fill with zero-emission capable vehicles, I’m excited to see how the way we drive will change, hopefully for the better.

Gary LambExpert driving instructor

Despite the growing popularity of AFVs, there remain several myths and misconceptions about electric cars particularly. Hyundai’s research revealed 22 per cent of petrol and diesel owners were worried about charging an electric car. Meanwhile, 18 per cent said they didn't think it would be safe to drive through a lightning storm and 12 per cent wouldn't feel safe charging their phone in an electric car. 

Hyundai has led the e-mobility charge with the broadest range of alternative fuel vehicles available in the UK today and there is more to come. It is the only manufacturer globally which offers hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric cars and has announced a further $36 billion investment plan over the next five years which will realise 44 electrified models by 2025.

Our research, along with the growth in sales figures, shows there is a real appetite for low and zero-emission vehicles in the UK. With this campaign we hope to educate the public on how they can drive cleaner and more efficiently, whether they keep their current petrol vehicle or are in the market for an electric model like the KONA Electric or IONIQ Electric. We’ve found we all drive differently, with thousands of different styles, but we all can be united by a common cause of driving cleaner and preparing our cities for a zero-emission future.

Sylvie ChildsSenior Product Manager at Hyundai