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Ford Eco Route – Click above for high-res image gallery

MyFord Touch promises to better connect drivers to their phones and MP3 players as well as the functions that are traditionally controlled by buttons and knobs. The screen will be displayed on a 4.2-inch LCD located directly in front of the driver next to the speedometer, with a five-way switch on either side of the steering wheel that enables the driver to access information without turning his or her head or taking a hand off the steering wheel.

MyFord (and MyLincoln) Touch already sounds impressive, but Ford apparently isn't done wowing with its functionality. The Blue Oval announced today that its new touch interface will also help drivers save fuel by arming them with real-time feedback on fuel efficiency performance, helping coach drivers on how to conserve fuel. Jim Buczkowski, Ford director of Global Electrical and Electronics Systems Engineering, says in the company's press release that MyFord Touch "provides an unprecedented level of information and interaction so drivers can make the choice to be more fuel efficient."

Ford's newest interactive infotainment creation will accomplish this feat by providing additional fuel economy information, similar to the SmartGauge leaf display utilized in the Ford Fusion Hybrid. SmartGauge rewards efficient driving with an increasing amount of leaves and flowers, and drivers can also track their fuel economy with a graphical bar chart next to the fuel gauge display that shows mile-per-gallon averages for the past five, 10 and 30 minutes.

Ford also plans to utilize its excellent navigation system to help drivers become more efficient. MyFord Touch pairs up with the map-based navigation to provide drivers an Eco-Route that instantly utilizes both historical and real-time traffic data to map you to the most efficient route possible. Ford says that while the Eco-Route isn't necessarily the fastest route, it can help drivers consume up to 15 percent less fuel on any given trip.

MyFord Touch arrives this summer with the launch of the 2011 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX. Hit the jump to watch a video and read over Ford's MyFord Touch press release, which also lists 10 useful tips for conserving fuel.

[Source: Ford]

Show full PR text
New MyFord Touch 'coaches' drivers to improve fuel efficiency; navigation adds eco-route feature
  • New MyFord Touch™ driver connect technology provides an array of real-time feedback on fuel efficiency performance that helps coach drivers to optimize their miles per gallon
  • 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 percent
  • 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

DEARBORN, Mich., April 14, 2010 – When it comes to achieving the best possible fuel mileage the way you drive can be nearly as important as the vehicle you drive.

Ford's advanced new in-vehicle system – MyFord Touch™ – offers an array of 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 to get from A to B.

MyFord Touch is the latest innovation from Ford to help drivers optimize fuel economy. It builds on the fuel efficiency "coaching" concept Ford pioneered on its 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.

"We have learned that when we provide drivers the information and tools in an interactive and entertaining way, they want to drive more fuel efficiently," said Jim Buczkowski, Ford director of Global Electrical and Electronics Systems Engineering. "MyFord Touch provides an unprecedented level of information and interaction so drivers can make the choice to be more fuel efficient."

The green road home

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 percent 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," said Jennifer Brace, Ford user interface design engineer.

In addition to its Eco-Route feature, MyFord Touch enables 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," Brace said. "The benefits will be greater because MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch will be widely available in the future."

Eco-driving tips

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that the U.S. uses about 150 billion gallons of gasoline annually. If every driver practiced eco-driving techniques, which can result in an EPA-estimated 15 percent benefit in fuel economy, more than 22 billion gallons of gas would be saved.

Eco-driving techniques tested by Ford showed that motorists coached in eco-driving can significantly improve the fuel economy performance of their vehicles. Here are simple tips that any driver can use:

1. Slow down and watch speed – Drive 55 mph instead of 65 to save fuel. EPA estimates a 10 to 15 percent improvement in fuel economy by following this tip. Also, aim for a constant speed. Pumping the accelerator sends more fuel into the engine. Using cruise control whenever possible on the highway helps maintain speed and conserve fuel.

2. Accelerate and brake smoothly – Accelerating smoothly from a stop and braking softly conserves fuel. Fast starts, weaving in and out of traffic and hard braking wastes fuel and wears out some of the vehicle components, such as brakes and tires, more quickly. Maintain a safe distance between vehicles and anticipate traffic conditions to allow for more time to brake and accelerate gradually.

3. No idling – Today's engines don't need a warm-up. Start the car immediately and gently drive away. Don't leave your car idling. Prolonged idling increases emissions and wastes fuel. Turn the engine off in non-traffic situations, such as at bank and fast food drive-up windows, when idling more than 30 seconds.

4. Check your tires – Keep tires properly inflated to the recommended tire pressure. This alone can reduce the average amount of fuel use by 3 to 4 percent. Under-inflated tires increase rolling resistance and reduce fuel economy. They also wear more rapidly. Check the vehicle's door-post sticker for minimum cold tire inflation pressure.

5. Be kind to your vehicle – Maintain proper engine tune-up to keep vehicles running efficiently. Keep the wheels aligned. Wheels that are fighting each other wastes fuel. Replace air filters as recommended. Use a fuel with good detergent additives to keep the vehicle engine clean and performing efficiently. Always consult the owner's manual for proper maintenance.

6. Travel light – Avoid piling a lot of luggage on the roof rack. The added frontal area reduces aerodynamics and will hurt fuel economy, reducing it by as much as 5 percent. Remove excess weight from the vehicle. Unnecessary weight, such as unneeded items in the trunk, makes the engine work harder and consumes more fuel.

7. Minimize use of heater and air conditioning – Use heating and air conditioning selectively to reduce the load on the engine. Decreasing your usage of the air conditioner when temperatures are above 80 degrees can help you save 10 to 15 percent of fuel. Use the vent setting as much as possible. Park in the shade to keep the vehicle cool and reduce the need for air conditioning.

8. Close windows at high speeds – Don't drive with the windows open unless you keep your speed under 50 mph. Driving with the windows open at highway speeds increases aerodynamic drag on the vehicle and lowers fuel economy.

9. Choose the right oil – Use good-quality oils with the viscosity grade recommended in the owner's guide. Ford recommends SAE 5W-20 oil for most cars and trucks to provide the best fuel economy. Only oils "certified for gasoline engines" by the American Petroleum Institute with the starburst symbol should be used.

10. Consolidate trips – Plan ahead to consolidate your trips. This will enable you to bypass congested routes and lead to less idling.

For additional information on how to save on gas, visit the Driving Skills for Life Web site and click on the "eco-driving" module. Ford's eco-driving initiative builds on the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers' comprehensive nationwide effort to promote eco-driving at www.EcoDrivingUSA.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would rather other drivers around me concentrate on the road rather than these in dash video games.
        • 5 Years Ago
        GTGuy, there is a huge difference between the occasional 'take next left' and interactive graphs and leaves that display your 'score' every time you touch the gas.

        This isn't IFR. Your eyes should be on the road and these dangerous gimmicks encourage them not to be.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Which part of reading the third paragraph of the OP is making you fail?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Don't feed the troll.

        • 5 Years Ago
        ill admit in failing to read said press release.

        but i still dont see how a simple graphical flower blossoming can distract a driver while its on the dash, behind the wheel. it would be one thing where its blaring away it psychedelic colours with that led/neon like lighting that ford has been doing. but honestly how much more of a distraction then all the dials for speed, rpm, little lights to tell you when to shift, shiny dangly keys, trip meters, oil, tire psi, mpg counter, etc etc.

        had you seen some of their previous videos, like those of the fusion hybrid, it really isnt all that distracting. its rather simplified, hell even the driver gets to choose what they want to see.

        i will say there are just some people out there who dont deserve the air in which i breath in to drive.
      • 5 Years Ago

      In before whining about screens.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It seemed like the route she chose was using surface streets. To me it would make more sense to take the fastest route since it used highways thus getting better MPGs since highway MPGs are greater than City MPGs. Maybe I'm wrong (I'm not familiar with that area) and the Eco route she selected was a highway..
        • 5 Years Ago
        Good point. Perhaps the "fastest" way was up and down hills and the "eco" way on flat roads?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was thinking the same thing unless the vehicle is a hybrid.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've would have been there already by the time she took to set her touchscreen up.
        • 5 Years Ago
        How, by referring to your HUGE-ASS MAP?

      • 5 Years Ago
      Okay, I'll admit to being rather impressed. However, all of the bells and whistles have got to be bolted into a car that's fundamentally safe, reliable, and satisfying to drive. Ford seems to be making headway on those fronts as well. There's always going to be haters, but I think it's safe to say that Ford is on a roll.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's a nice system but besides the GPS and the traffic alert I really wouldn't use the rest of all the gadgets. I don't even talk on the cellphone when I'm driving because it too hard to drive and stay involved in the conversation. I just don't want people to forget the whole driving the car thing too...
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is a cool idea, I dont know why Google hasnt thought of it first for Google Maps. Unfortunately Im sure this will only work correctly in the larger cities so it would be of little use to me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So how many drivers of Ford's with this device are going to drive off the road or into another car trying to read all the information on the screen? This is getting ridiculous! SIMPLIFY...SIMPLIFY...SIMPLIFY! Driver's are supposed to keep their eyes ON THE ROAD, not - repeat - NOT scanning the instrument panel like it's a video game!!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        The GPS tells you the instructions.............

        People please think before you post!
        • 5 Years Ago
        To keep people's eyes on the road is why Ford includes voice control.If you are stupid enough to be changing the configuration for the display while you are driving then you deserve to go off a cliff and end up a fireball. Natural selection at work.

        Should try driving here in Australia, people are constantly looking down at their speed anyway because we have so many different speed zones policed by speed cameras. Its a joke. MORE technology here would be good - a HUD which displays your current speed next to the speed zone you are currently in (which is worked out by the GPS system).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, because Ford is the only comnpany to offer navigation. Really? You're a f'n genius.

        I guess Ford also sells those little aftermarket one that EVERYONE has stuck to their windshield, even though they never leave their home town.

        You're a stupid troll.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The only problem with My Ford Touch is that there aren't enough screens. If you are going to tout your screenage, you need more than 3 tiny LCDs. I want the entire windshield to be a touch screen that uses a camera to display what is on the road.

        • 5 Years Ago
        This must be the anti-simple car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow you guys need to stop living in the past. bunch of idiots who cant even set up an email address without your grandsons help. Why are all you old people scared of technology. Its safer to use a gps then to pull out a huge ass map.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Man, it's so true. For one I want MORE gadgets and technology in my car. It's sad that my $200 phone not only has more storage but can do more then my $40,000 truck's $2000 entertainment system can do.

        If you're too old me use technology safely then don't get that option!!!

        It's as simple as that, don't hold progression back!
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