American automaker Ford debuted yesterday some interesting new driver connect technology which offers drivers better information and real time feedback on fuel efficiency performance and, for GPS enabled vehicles, an option for more fuel efficient routing. This new MyFord Touch system, as it is being called, will appear in upcoming 2011 Ford Edge and will be available globally on the 2012 Ford Focus (it will also be added to new Lincoln vehicles beginning with the 2011 Lincoln MKX).
Ford said its new advanced in-vehicle system, similar to a Microsoft-Ford initiative announced earlier this year around bringing the software company’s Hohm energy management interface into usage with future Ford electric cars, is about putting tools in front of the driver to help them make better green driving decisions. On the eco-driving side, the MyFord Touch will provide drivers with the ability to “monitor and track their vehicle’s real-time fuel economy performance and mile-per-gallon averages for the past five, 10 and 30 minutes in the form of a bar chart next to the fuel gauge on the display.” This data will be customizable to help drivers “hone their eco-driving skills over time.”
As far as better green GPS routing goes, the MyFord Touch will offer drivers an “Eco-Route” option that Ford says “is not necessarily the fastest or shortest route but is the most fuel efficient. Typically, it charts a course that avoids congested freeways while maximizing the use of major roads where the driver can maintain an efficient rate of speed.” The system “accesses historical and real-time traffic data as well as posted speed information to calculate” this option and in company testing reportedly delivered a 15 percent improvement in fuel economy.