|MyFord Touch map-based navigation offers an Eco-Route option, which instantly calculates the most fuel-efficient route for the driver. Ford testing shows Eco-Route can help achieve fuel economy gains of up to 15%. Click to enlarge.|
Ford revealed at the SAE 2010 World Congress that it is introducing new functions in its in-vehicle system MyFord Touch to provide real-time information on fuel economy performance that can coach drivers to get more miles to the gallon and save on fuel costs. In addition, MyFord Touch’s map-based navigation system offers an Eco-Route option that quickly calculates the most fuel efficient route a driver can take.
The MyFord Touch driver connect technology, introduced at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, replaces many of the traditional vehicle buttons, knobs and gauges. With more voice commands, LCD screens that can be customized and five-way buttons like those on cell phones and MP3 players, drivers can choose which information is front and center through a button click, voice command or touch-screen tap.
MyFord Touch launches this summer on the 2011 Ford Edge and will be available globally on the 2012 Ford Focus. MyLincoln Touch will be standard equipment on new Lincoln vehicles beginning with the 2011 Lincoln MKX.
The MyFord Touch fuel economy functionality is the latest effort from Ford to help drivers optimize their fuel economy. It builds on the fuel efficiency “coaching” concept in the SmartGauge with EcoGuide cluster for the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid as well as the all-new 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. The system provides real-time fuel economy data and promotes fuel-efficient driving by showing a graphic of growing leaves and flowers.
When a driver provides a destination to the navigation system, MyFord Touch accesses historical and real-time traffic data as well as posted speed information to calculate three navigation options: Fastest, Shortest and Eco-Route.
Eco-Route 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. When Ford of Europe engineers tested the feature, they achieved up to a 15% improvement in fuel economy using the Eco-Route.
When drivers use Eco-Route—particularly in combination with MyFord Touch’s fuel-economy feedback and fuel-efficient driving techniques—they can achieve a noticeable increase in fuel efficiency.
—Jennifer Brace-Mezigian, Ford user interface design engineer
|Instant fuel economy reading from MyFord Touch. Click to enlarge.|
In addition to its Eco-Route feature, MyFord Touch now can enable drivers 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. Drivers can customize the amount of information provided to meet their needs and hone their eco-driving skills over time.
MyFord Touch not only gives drivers information they can use to improve their driving habits, but also expands on that capability by engaging the navigation system to give drivers a variety of options. The benefits will be greater because MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch will be widely available in the future.