Ford is introducing a new eco-driving tool that will help drivers change their habits to boost efficiency.
Said to be a commercial vehicle market first and debuting on the new Transit, Transit Custom and Tourneo Custom people mover from mid-2019, the EcoGuide uses data from the vehicle’s sat-nav to give drivers advance notice of road junctions, slopes and bends, or upcoming speed limits and warn when they need to decelerate. It also advises on the ideal gear via the gear shift indicator.
In addition, EcoGuide can provide drivers with feedback on their driving efficiency using a ‘halo’ logo around the digital speed read-out, based on analysis of acceleration, braking, cruising and gearshift patterns. The halo expands as the driver adopts more efficient driving habits, and a report can be viewed at the end of each trip.
“Everyone has experienced occasions when we have to brake suddenly if a bend is tighter than expected, only to speed up again afterwards. EcoGuide will help avoid this, saving drivers fuel, time and stress,” said Michael McDonagh, Transit global chief programme engineer, Ford of Europe.
The new tool could bring some sizeable savings for fleet operators. “Driving smoothly and assessing the road ahead as much as possible to avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration can improve your fuel consumption by as much as 12%,” said Rebecca Ashton, head of policy and research for UK road safety organisation IAM RoadSmart, which runs eco-driving training courses approved by the Energy Saving Trust.