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           13 April, 2024

Category:  Press » Automotive


Ford's SmartGauge with EcoGuide Coaches Drivers to Maximize Fuel Efficiency on New Fusion Hybrid

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2008-10-29 05:54:16     
Ford Motor Company

Pushing a vehicle to the limit takes on a new meaning in the new 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids, thanks to Ford's (NYSE: F) SmartGauge with EcoGuide - an innovative new instrument cluster that provides real-time information to help drivers maximum fuel efficiency.

"SmartGauge with EcoGuide gives the customer real-world feedback to make the most of their hybrids," said Gil Portalatin, Hybrid Applications Manager. "Unique to Ford and Mercury hybrid sedans, this instrument cluster acts as a good 'coach,' engaging drivers real-time to help them achieve maximum fuel economy."

Ford collaborated with IDEO and Smart Design, two world leaders in helping consumers connect with technology, to develop the instrument cluster. Job One was properly integrating the driver with the cluster's science and technology.

"The main question hybrid drivers had was, 'How do I know I'm getting the most out of my hybrid?'" said Jeff Greenberg, Ford senior technical leader. "We needed to create a system that better communicates with drivers and gives them the tools to maximize fuel efficiency. That's what SmartGauge with EcoGuide does."

The driver is immediately engaged by the SmartGauge displays, on either side of the center-mounted analog speedometer, with a special greeting that combines illumination and graphics.

EcoGuide then uses a multi-layered approach to coach the driver to maximum fuel efficiency. A tutorial mode built into the display that helps the driver learn about the instrument cluster and the hybrid in a whimsical way that does not overpower.

For instance, drivers can choose one of four data screens to choose the information level displayed during their drives:

-- Inform: Fuel level and battery charge status

-- Enlighten: Adds electric vehicle mode indicator and tachometer

-- Engage: Adds engine output power and battery output power

-- Empower: Adds power to wheels, engine pull-up threshold and accessory power consumption

Four Hybrids

The Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids join the already successful Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner hybrids - the most fuel-efficient SUVs on the planet. With the addition of the two new hybrid sedans, Ford will double its annual hybrid volume and be the largest domestic producer of full hybrid vehicles in North America.

URL: http://www.ford.com
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