Ford's new EcoMode has potential to improve fuel economy by 24 percent

In a surprise announcement post 2011 NAIAS in Detroit, the all-new Ford Focus will feature Eco-Mode to help drivers perfect their eco-driving techniques.

Ford EcoMode is a software application available as standard on the new Ford Focus SE, SEL and Titanium models.

It rates driver behavior impacting fuel economy and then offers up simple hints on how to improve eco-driving skills through a fun scoring system

EcoMode measures driver behavior for parameters such as gear shifting, anticipation (driving as constant as possible) and speed displaying performance on the instrument cluster screen.

According to a media.ford.com news release, Thomas Schick, an engineer with the Ford of Germany Core Vehicle Integration team who helped design the software said, “The foot of the driver has one of the biggest impacts on real-world fuel economy of a vehicle and was the starting point for the development of EcoMode. This is a useful tool that creates awareness between personal behavior and fuel consumption and offers up hints on how to improve. Applying those hints and recommendations is all up to the driver.”

EcoMode generates a personalized driver operation scorecard by monitoring engine rpm, vehicle speed, accelerator position, clutch position, selected gear and engine temperature related to three of these categories:

  • Gear shifting (when applicable): Is the driver using the highest drivable gear appropriate for the road conditions
  • Anticipation: Is the driver adjusting vehicle speed and distance to other vehicles without the need for heavy braking or acceleration
  • Speed: Is the driver using a cruising speed on open roads that enables high fuel efficiency

Within the driver information menu on the instrument cluster, Focus drivers can review their generated score against the software’s optimized patterns for each of these disciplines.

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About the Author: After 39 years in the auto industry as a design engineer, Frank Sherosky now day trades, writes articles, books and ebooks via authorfrank.com, but may be contacted here by email: [email protected]
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