Believe it or not, only making right turns saves gas. UPS figured this out a while ago and uses ‘right turn’ optimized routes for drivers.
UPS is a company that relies on its ability to optimize delivery routes and move from point A to point B in the most efficient, cost effective and safest way possible.
In order for them to stay ahead of the game, UPS engineers analyzed tracking data from their fleet of delivery trucks and came to an odd conclusion: making left turns wasn’t efficient.
“What we found: A significant cause of idling time resulted from drivers making left turns, essentially going against the flow of traffic. From there we explored routes where these turns were cut out entirely, and then compared data… Results showed that more packages could be delivered in less time with reduced emissions by driving in a series of right-hand loops” source
In 2004, a new ‘right turn’ policy was implemented at UPS. They developed software that created right turn optimized routes for drivers, nearly eliminating the use of left hand turns.
The results were staggering.
Scott Davis, Chairman and CEO of UPS, shared the following details in a press release on their right turn policy:
In 2007 alone, this [policy] helped us:
* shave nearly 30 million miles off already streamlined delivery routes.
* save 3 million gallons of gas, and
* reduce CO2 emissions by 32,000 metric tons, the equivalent of removing 5,300 passenger cars from the road for an entire year. source
It takes courage to implement such an odd sounding policy. Many people have questioned whether or not it actually works, including those over at Mythbusters.
After running their own test, even Mythbusters had to admit that only making right turns cuts down on the use of gas. Maybe for personal use it’s not a significant amount, but for a large company like UPS, the increase in efficiency is huge.
If you are still skeptical, check out the Mythbusters video: