Ford Smart Gauge Encourages Ecodriving

by Benjamin Jones on October 31, 2008


Sure, the video is a little obscure, but you get a sense of the new layout and the “efficiency leaves” that Ford is incorporating into their new Smart Gauge. Like we talked about yesterday with Audi, automakers are trying to encorporate fuel saving technologies into their cars. In Audi’s case, they’re trying to help you predict some of the externalities that affect fuel economy (upcoming traffic lights), but in this case, Ford is just trying to help you help yourself.

Sure, there are other fuel economy gauges out there, but even the best don’t have total integration into your car’s instrument cluster. Also, most of these gauges, save the Kiwi, can’t really tell you how to drive. The gauge will be showing up in 2010 Ford hybrids, and will include two modes, “Journey” and “Empower.” Journey mode will seem just like a normal gauge cluster for everyday driving, but for ecodrivers or information junkies, Empower mode will tell you about your vehicle’s performance and how you can improve the fuel economy.

The quirkiest feature, however, is definitely the “efficiency leaf” display. Here’s a quote from the Wall Street Journal:

In one of the two LCD screens on either side of the speedometer, bright green leaves will indicate how fuel-efficient the driver is. “You don’t have to count the leaves,” Ms. Gioia said. “But if you’re in a forest of leaves, you’ll know you’re doing well.”

Who can say now how well this will go over, but it seems to be a simple, yet interesting measure of your fuel economy, which I think more people will want to look at than a big red button flashing “LEAD” when you mash the gas pedal.

What do you think? Are the leaves a good touch or just silly?

If you liked this post, sign up for out RSS Feed for automatic updates.

Popularity: 2% [?]