Honda Study Finds Insight’s Eco Assist System Results in Average 10% Improvement in Fuel Economy After 300 Drives, Up to 20% Max
|Honda Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist). Click to enlarge.|
A study by Honda in Japan found that drivers using the new Eco Assist system on the new Honda Insight hybrid improved their fuel economy on average by 10%, up to a maximum of 20%, after 300 drives. Keiji Enomoto from Honda R&D presented the results of the study at the SAE 2010 Hybrid Vehicle Technologies Symposium in San Diego this week.
The results were drawn from some 1.7 million data points from about 5,000 Insights, from February to August 2009.
The Insight introduced an all-new Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist). Eco Assist is a driver-selected fuel economy information system designed to help the driver develop and maintain a fuel-efficient driving style. Eco Assist comprises two basic functions:
- A feedback system; and
- A driver-selected ECON button that automatically helps increase the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
The Eco Assist system monitors driving style, and can display the impact of a driving style on the vehicle’s fuel economy. Eco Assist provides driving style recommendations via a 3D background within the speedometer that changes color to reflect how efficiently the driver is accelerating and braking.
Fuel-saving activities like smooth acceleration and braking make the speedometer background glow green. Somewhat less-efficient driving makes the meter glow blue-green. Aggressive starts and stops that consume extra fuel make the meter glow blue. By observing the speedometer background’s response to driving practices and seeking to achieve a consistently green color, drivers can receive assistance in developing driving habits that typically enhance fuel economy.
Drivers’ results are continuously tracked as fuel economy ratings are shown per drive cycle and on a lifetime basis in the form of plant leaf graphics that can appear in the Multi-Information Display. Up to five leaves can be ‘earned’ as the driver demonstrates a fuel-efficient driving style.
Pushing the ECON button initiates a range of functions that increase the fuel economy of the Insight’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system:
- Increases the potential for engaging the idle stop feature sooner
- Operates air conditioning more in recirculation mode
- Reduces automatic climate control blower fan speed
- Optimizes throttle angle input and CVT operation
- Limits power and torque by approximately 4% (full responsiveness is provided at wide-open-throttle)
- Cruise control operation (EX only)