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Old 10-12-2008, 05:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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scenic - '01 renault scenic
90 day: 43.09 mpg (US)

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How my (GPS) navigator helps me in eco-driving

I have a 2,5 years old GPS navigator (tomtom 910, not sold any-more).

Since a few months I use it daily, even in my commutes, to see how much time I'm really loosing in traffic. Often I had the feeling to loose tens of minutes in traffic, while I was only loosing a few minutes. I configured it to have a max speed of 80km/h (50mpg), so the calculated times are very closed to my current times. This permits me to see the real lost times and so calm me down a lot, permitting me to be a better eco-driver.

It permits me to prepare my road when I have to go elsewhere than to my office. As in center town there is a lot of road works, its automatic recalculation permits to quickly find a new road. Once again it permits me to calm down a lot and be a better eco-driver.

Last, but not the least it permits me to avoid some traffic jams. One year ago I bought the first version of the RDS-TMC (FM radio) antenna to receive real-time traffic information. But this first version has a big concept problem, so it could received information only when I already was in the traffic jams

I bought the last version of this antenna Wednesday and updated the navigator's firmware Thursday from v6 to v7. Friday morning I tested the new system. Not only the new firmware is smarter in managing this antenna, but the new antenna now can receive data from places where I couldn't receive anything before that During my commute it advertised me a problem and recalculated the road : +5min. After a few minutes, the final time came back : -5min, in fact the problem disappeared and it took the initial road automatically.

With my new commutes, I have to manage much more traffic than before. From tomorrow I will log how much time I will be commuting to see how much traffic I will avoid thanks to it.

As said in another thread, from tomorrow I have to drive Scenic which has thermal protection on windshield. The problem is that this thermal protection stops a part of GPS signal and RDS-TMC signal I installed the antenna as advised by constructor.

The new firmware also has a top speed and it can play a sound when the speed is greater. I set it to 80km/h and it sounded at 86. I don't know if that function will be kept activated.

Denis.

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Best Mégane tank: 1268.9mi @ 77.847 MPG(US)
2008/06-2011/10 saving:
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  • Diesel / Money: 42.17% = 2446.25€ = 3357.26$


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Old 10-13-2008, 11:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Another plus on the GPS from me. Unless your absolutely familiar with the area in which your driving they can pay for themselves pretty fast in wasted fuel. Your first wrong/missed turn is extra distance that you didn't have to travel, and even through you may still be getting 30, 40 50 60+ mpg on that unnecessary section of road, realistically that distance was unnecessary and your trip mpg is getting destroyed.
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Old 10-13-2008, 05:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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scenic - '01 renault scenic
90 day: 43.09 mpg (US)

megane - '97 renault megane classic
Diesel
90 day: 72.53 mpg (US)

dennisius - '06 Toyota Prius
Team Toyota
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This morning I scheduled my commute later so no traffic jam

Tonight while I'm waiting for the RDS-TMC to receive the info traffic, I fall in a slow traffic After a few minutes I look at received informations and none is, which is strange as commonly only 2 minutes are needed. After further inspections, the system is locked on another channel than the usual one. I manually configure the channel and quickly receive dozens of traffic problems... the navigator announces me a 14 minutes delay.

I ask the navigator to optimize the road. It gives me the choice between "the quickest road" and "the quickest road without traffic". I choose the latter, the navigator announces me a 4 minutes longer road than the initial one and I begin to carefully follow the new road...

Alas the new road is in city and I have to play with city traffic and lights, game that I don't really appreciate...

Finally I arrive with a 16 minutes delay... This is explained by the fact the navigator doesn't know about in city slow traffic which isn't reported as traffic problem, so it often underestimate the in-city roads.

Thanks to Scenic on-board computer I estimated my consumptions :
. to work = 56 mpg (37 mph) : ~C.EPA +40%
. from work = 41 mpg (16 mph) : ~C.EPA
ie +36% gas

Conclusion :
. I shall verify the channel on which the navigator is locked to receive RDS-TMC
. I shall avoid in-city roads if they doesn't permit a very big gain
. I should work more my in-city eco-driving skills...

Denis, on the road to skyrocket Scenic's logs
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Save money & CO2 at home : http://ecorenovator.org/
Created and managed by the creators of http://ecomodder.com/
---
Earth and health are priceless, so are kilotank and AT-PZEV
Best Mégane tank: 1268.9mi @ 77.847 MPG(US)
2008/06-2011/10 saving:
  • 5725.5 kg CO2 (5342.6+382.9)
  • Diesel / Money: 42.17% = 2446.25€ = 3357.26$


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Old 10-21-2008, 03:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The GPS on my phone helped me out a couple weeks ago when I needed a reroute because my usual highway was closed off with a really bad accident. None of the nifty settings yours has (and a nasty habit of freezing and not updating location), but very useful for getting around traffic.
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I use gps to give me an indication when to start slowing for a junction,I start to reduce speed about 2 miles away if its a busy junction when stopping is inevitable.
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree, gps helps me by eliminating being in a hurry when there is no reason and I can gauge when to start coasting for a corner IE: 3/10ths of a mile to go from 50 mph to 35mph for that upcoming turn.
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Old 12-19-2010, 05:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have a Garmin 1490T and the saves gas and shortest distance settings at least in my Prius works very well at improving my gas mileage. I figure it's worth at least five miles per gallon.

I was going to Philadelphia and had it set up for shortest distance. Let me put it this way, my GPS took me through parts of that city where I kept looking around saying to myself I didn't bring enough firepower or ammunition.

Hint don't ever follow one of these units blindly when you don't know the areas your traveling though.
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Old 12-24-2010, 10:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Also, if you have several stops to make, many GPS will calculate the best and most efficient route, telling you where to go 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.

I think GPS is one of the most under rated gas saving device around.
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willow70 View Post
I use gps to give me an indication when to start slowing for a junction,I start to reduce speed about 2 miles away if its a busy junction when stopping is inevitable.
This is also how I started using my GPS to guess when to start coasting. Next I learned to use it to see what is behind a hill or corner - if it looks urbanized, or there is an intersection, then there will probably be a speed reduction, so I should refrain from pulsing.

What I would really benefit from is knowing ahead of time exactly what speed I'll have to slow down to. I've noticed that newer models display the speed limit, but my Garmin Nüvi 250W will not support that fuction And since I invested in lifetime map updates a few months ago I'm reluctant to get rid of this unit and get a new one.

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Piwoslaw's Peugeot 307sw modding thread

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