Scientific calculations have proved that simply avoiding to turn left while driving helps the American freight carrier UPS save millions of dollars on fuel costs each year.
Nowadays it is difficult to imagine the turmoil driving would become if you can’t make any left turns on the streets. But as incredible as it may seem, this true story is happening at the US freight forwarding company where all UPS delivery employees are now avoiding to turn left, unless absolutely necessary.
UPS drivers’ absolute compliance with the principle of no left turns while driving. Photo: Getty Images
This practice of UPS drivers is not an act of superstition, and also has nothing to do with the actual delivery routes or deliberate aversion of crowded intersections. Instead, it actually stems from scientific computations that help drivers determine the optimal path from point A to point B with the most efficient fuel consumption rate.
UPS routing software has pointed out a rule that for the same journey between two given stations, only making right turns will save more fuel than the usual combination of both left and right turns. Therefore, all UPS drivers are now complying with the principle of avoiding left turns while driving.
The company disclosed that since 2004 when this principle was first implemented, UPS has saved millions of liters of fuel, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by 20,000 tons and delivering an addition of 350,000 packages compared to the normal driving practices. These allegations of UPS, no matter how striking, remained unproven until recently.
The reporters of the popular science entertainment television program, Mythbusters, broadcast on Discovery Channel in the United States, have conducted several experiments to test the validity of UPS’ argument. The final results have proved the claim that just turning right while driving increases fuel efficiency compared to turning both left and right.
Turning right, except where required to turn left, will lengthen the travel distance and extend the delivery time, but consumes less energy than making the car turn left / right. This is the goal for which UPS is aiming.
UPS drivers are choosing to bypass intersections and increase the delivery time to complete the distance compared to conventional driving. In return, they will have reduced the waiting time for traffic lights, which can cut unnecessary fuel consumption and save it for the next right turns.