Changing Habits to Improve Fuel Economy 2017-01-0038
In recent years we have witnessed increased discrepancy between fuel economy numbers reported in accordance with EPA testing procedures and real world fuel economy reported by drivers. The debates range from needs for new testing procedures to the fact that driver complaints create one-sided distribution; drivers that get better fuel economy do not complain about the fuel economy, but only the ones whose fuel economy falls short of expectations. In this paper, we demonstrate fuel economy improvements that can be obtained if the driver is properly sophisticated in the skill of driving.
Implementation of SmartGauge with EcoGuide into the Ford C-MAX Hybrid in 2013 helped drivers improve their fuel economy on hybrid vehicles. Further development of this idea led to the EcoCoach that would be implemented into all future Ford vehicles. The EcoCoach is integrated feature of intelligent coaching algorithm with intuitive and appealing visual feedback of the driving performance in an engaging, instructive, and motivating manner.
The EcoCoach’s effectiveness has been evaluated by a sample of drivers in three locations in the US and Germany. Each driver completed a baseline route without coaching followed by a route with coaching. Overall fuel economy improvement is evident, while fuel economy spread across the drivers is reduced. That can be interpreted as convergence of driving styles toward optimal fuel consumption driving.