01 October 2012

The all-new Ford Focus' EcoMode is training wheels for lead-foot drivers

While there might be over a thousand fuel saving tutorials online, nothing compares to a one-on-one hands-on training with a real expert. Hiring one for a few days ain't gonna be cheap, but wouldn’t it be great if you get one with a car right from the dealership? One that doesn't need to sleep, eat, nor drink and will gladly serve you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year, too. Well, that dream has finally come true in Ford’s EcoMode, your personal eco-driving coach available with the all-new Focus.
EcoMode is an app that comes with the all-new Focus that scores you according to your (1) Gear Shifts, (2) Anticipation of the vehicles and traffic condition ahead, and (3) Speed. It does this by monitoring the vehicle's engine rpm, speed, accelerator position, clutch position, selected gear, and engine temperature.
On the Focus' instrument cluster, EcoMode displays the driver's score using a simple yet nifty green five-leaf icon. Obviously, the more leaves you have, the more environmentally-friendly you drive. Scoring is cumulative every time you drive, but you can always restart the system by resetting the average fuel consumption. 
While driving, EcoMode will also give you hints on how you can gain more leaves for each discipline. It'll give you tips such as “Smooth driving saves fuel” if it senses that you accelerate or brake unnecessarily, or “Early shifting saves fuel” when you don't shift up as early as you should. Don't think of it as an annoying back seat driver that tells you what to do; rather, consider it an eco-conscious advocate who wants you to drive more sensibly. Of course, no matter how hard it tries to coach, it's still up to the driver if he or she will listen.
After you exert the effort to drive more efficiently, EcoMode will eventually congratulate you at the end of the day if you've done a good job. The only thing this system needs is a Facebook or Twitter link so you can brag about your fuel-saving achievements online.