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Old 09-30-2017, 02:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Today's idea: Eco modes & lights need difficulty settings

So while pondering the meaning of the eco light in my friends Yaris I realised that eco modes & lights need the option to be *way* more agressive.

We now have the cpu power to adjust between say three to five different trans shifting modes and several dozen more conditions we can trigger a light under.

It also provides a method of increasing driving engagement while promoting efficiency & smooth driving. You may find that if it gives you a score the mildly interested average driver who may otherwise never learn suddenly becomes more aware of traffic & uses less fuel doing it

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Old 09-30-2017, 02:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That would fulfill a very niche market demographic and alienate the larger market.

People like 1 button phones ala the iPhone, not tons of options and functionality.

I often argue the engineering simplicity of making things better, but that comes at a cost of people needing to know things. Make an "extreme eco" mode toggle, and you now have 10,000 trouble calls to the dealership due to "poorly performing" cars.
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Old 09-30-2017, 05:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Maybe it depends on how difficult it is to accidentally enable and easy to re-enable? E.G. the Super-Sports mode on a new Evo is "Hold mode button for 5 seconds while stopped" and the disable is "touch the switch in any manner except the previous".

I would almost settle for a trans mode that actually locked the damn torque converter at city traffic speeds. That's what I found most annoying about modern autos, in the effort for smoothness they completely ignore efficiency. No fuel-cut coasting in drive is possible and the torque converter always slips below 60... They have this big 'remove inefficiency' solenoid in the gearbox that basically never fires...

Maybe even the Eco light? The Yaris has a feature to enable and disable it (very well hidden, hold trip computer button for 5 seconds while showing odometer). Having 'Off-1-2-3-4-5' for a light would have to be pretty easy though?
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Old 09-30-2017, 03:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My 2011 Town and Country with the newer 3.6 pentstar engine has an eco button. Push it and it definitely changes shifts points for the 6 speed. I have had it on for years now all the time but the other day somebody's purse knocked it back off to normal mode. I noticed it right away accelerating away from a light up to 65 mph, like a rocket in comparison to every other day at the same light with the same throttle input. I guess I forget this van is pushing 300 hp.
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Old 09-30-2017, 08:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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A manual trans is the ultimate eco mode. No need for special modes.
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Old 10-02-2017, 10:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Car manufacturers aren't interested in increasing driver engagement because the mass market doesn't want that.

That's why we have automatic transmissions and airbags.

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Transmission type Efficiency
Manual neutral engine off.100% @MPG <----- Fun Fact.
Manual 1:1 gear ratio .......98%
CVT belt ............................88%
Automatic .........................86%

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