GM sells Buick smartphone app game that simulates fuel-efficient driving

Remember the car-racing video games you played as a kid? Think of this as the opposite.

General Motors is looking to raise consumer awareness of the hybrid drivetrains on its Buick LaCrosse and Regal by selling three Buick-branded smartphone application games that reward players for "driving" in a more fuel-efficient manner.

GM's free Buick eAssist Fuel Efficiency games, which are being sold for both iPhone and Android phone users, challenges the players to drive their Buicks to a particular location without running out of gas from a heavy foot. The games highlight eAssist features such as its regenerative braking system, which stores energy created through braking that can be used to propel the car. Buick's $30,820 LaCrosse (see Autoblog's test drive review here) has a hybrid system that helps the approximately 3,900-pound car get 25 miles per gallon in the city and 36 miles per gallon highway.

Buick's eAssist system which mates a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder gasoline direct-injection engine with an electric motor that can deliver an additional burst of up to 15 hp during acceleration while shutting the engine down when not in motion. The eAssist system is also available on the 2012 Buick Regal.

http://green.autoblog.com/2011/04/01/2012-buick-lacrosse-eassist-quick-spin-review/
http://www.autoblog.com/buick/lacrosse/
http://www.autoblog.com/buick/regal/GM sells Buick smartphone app game that simulates fuel-efficient driving

Remember the car-racing video games you played as a kid? Think of this as the opposite.

General Motors is looking to raise consumer awareness of the hybrid drivetrains on its Buick LaCrosse and Regal by selling three Buick-branded smartphone application games that reward players for "driving" in a more fuel-efficient manner.

GM's free Buick eAssist Fuel Efficiency games, which are being sold for both iPhone and Android phone users, challenges the players to drive their Buicks to a particular location without running out of gas from a heavy foot. The games highlight eAssist features such as its regenerative braking system, which stores energy created through braking that can be used to propel the car. Buick's $30,820 LaCrosse (see Autoblog's test drive review here) has a hybrid system that helps the approximately 3,900-pound car get 25 miles per gallon in the city and 36 miles per gallon highway.

Buick's eAssist system which mates a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder gasoline direct-injection engine with an electric motor that can deliver an additional burst of up to 15 hp during acceleration while shutting the engine down when not in motion. The eAssist system is also available on the 2012 Buick Regal.

http://green.autoblog.com/2011/04/01/2012-buick-lacrosse-eassist-quick-spin-review/
http://www.autoblog.com/buick/lacrosse/
http://www.autoblog.com/buick/regal/GM sells Buick smartphone app game that simulates fuel-efficient driving

Remember the car-racing video games you played as a kid? Think of this as the opposite.

General Motors is looking to raise consumer awareness of the hybrid drivetrains on its Buick LaCrosse and Regal by selling three Buick-branded smartphone application games that reward players for "driving" in a more fuel-efficient manner.

GM's free Buick eAssist Fuel Efficiency games, which are being sold for both iPhone and Android phone users, challenges the players to drive their Buicks to a particular location without running out of gas from a heavy foot. The games highlight eAssist features such as its regenerative braking system, which stores energy created through braking that can be used to propel the car. Buick's $30,820 LaCrosse (see Autoblog's test drive review here) has a hybrid system that helps the approximately 3,900-pound car get 25 miles per gallon in the city and 36 miles per gallon highway.

Buick's eAssist system which mates a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder gasoline direct-injection engine with an electric motor that can deliver an additional burst of up to 15 hp during acceleration while shutting the engine down when not in motion. The eAssist system is also available on the 2012 Buick Regal.

http://green.autoblog.com/2011/04/01/2012-buick-lacrosse-eassist-quick-spin-review/
http://www.autoblog.com/buick/lacrosse/
http://www.autoblog.com/buick/regal/GM sells Buick smartphone app game that simulates fuel-efficient driving

Remember the car-racing video games you played as a kid? Think of this as the opposite.

General Motors is looking to raise consumer awareness of the hybrid drivetrains on its Buick LaCrosse and Regal by selling three Buick-branded smartphone application games that reward players for "driving" in a more fuel-efficient manner.

GM's free Buick eAssist Fuel Efficiency games, which are being sold for both iPhone and Android phone users, challenges the players to drive their Buicks to a particular location without running out of gas from a heavy foot. The games highlight eAssist features such as its regenerative braking system, which stores energy created through braking that can be used to propel the car. Buick's $30,820 LaCrosse (see Autoblog's test drive review here) has a hybrid system that helps the approximately 3,900-pound car get 25 miles per gallon in the city and 36 miles per gallon highway.

Buick's eAssist system which mates a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder gasoline direct-injection engine with an electric motor that can deliver an additional burst of up to 15 hp during acceleration while shutting the engine down when not in motion. The eAssist system is also available on the 2012 Buick Regal.

http://green.autoblog.com/2011/04/01/2012-buick-lacrosse-eassist-quick-spin-review/
http://www.autoblog.com/buick/lacrosse/
http://www.autoblog.com/buick/regal/
Remember the car-racing video games you played as a kid? Think of this as the opposite.

General Motors is looking to raise consumer awareness of the hybrid drivetrains on its Buick LaCrosse and Regal by offering three Buick-branded smartphone application games that reward players for "driving" in a more fuel-efficient manner.

GM's free Buick eAssist Fuel Efficiency games, which are available for both iPhone and Android phone users, challenge the players to drive their Buicks to a particular location without running out of gas from a heavy foot. The games highlight eAssist features such as its regenerative braking system, which stores energy created through braking that can be used to propel the car. Buick's $30,820 LaCrosse (see Autoblog's test drive review here) has a hybrid system that helps the approximately 3,900-pound car get 25 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.

Buick's eAssist system mates a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder gasoline direct-injection engine with an electric motor that can deliver an additional burst of up to 15 horsepower during acceleration while shutting the engine down when not in motion. The eAssist system is also available on the 2012 Buick Regal.

Show full PR text
Buick eAssist Smartphone Games Raise MPG Awareness
Three games show the fun side of saving fuel
2012-01-27

DETROIT – In 2011 alone, the Apple App Store reported more than 100 million downloads to phones and iPads. Just as consumers embrace hand-held technology, studies show they want the same smart technology in their vehicles. Buick's new eAssist Fuel Efficiency smartphone games seek to connect the two.

Available free in Android and Apple stores, the three games come bundled in a single app that offers a fun way to sharpen driving techniques and improve fuel economy.

"Consumers today want purposeful technology in the products they buy," said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing. "Buick is offering exactly that with fuel-saving eAssist,"

The games focus on the key attributes of eAssist and how they can be used to stretch every gallon of fuel.

Regeneration Road highlights the regenerative braking feature of eAssist, which captures energy otherwise wasted during braking to repower the compact lithium-ion battery located beneath the car's trunk floor. Players must make it through a town and to a destination without running out of fuel. Pedestrians along the way add difficulty.

Roll and Boost: The energy stored from braking can later be used for an added, emissions-free boost of acceleration, and using that energy wisely is key to this game. A beautiful weekend drive through a flowing countryside is limited to just one tank of fuel. The goal is distance, not speed, and battery management strategy is vital.

Wind Tunnel Tester allows players to become an automotive engineer. If a vehicle cuts through the air easier, eAssist's other features don't need to work as hard. By tweaking a car's length and width on the screen, players can gain an understanding of how the sleek, modern shapes of Buick sedans help the car slice through the air. Aerodynamics-defeating extras like spoilers and roof rails can be added or removed.

Standard on the 2012 Buick LaCrosse and available on the Buick Regal, the eAssist light electrification system uses a compact lithium-ion battery pack and small electric motor to aid the performance of a fuel-efficient 2.4-liter gas engine. Both models achieve the same 36 highway mpg as a Mini Cooper and top larger full hybrids like the Infiniti M35h, rated at 32 mpg.

In addition to its fuel economy-boosting benefits, eAssist allows the gas engine to turn off completely when the car is sitting still. Energy gathered from the regenerative brakes and stored in the battery keeps the climate and audio systems operating, and the engine is able to restart without passengers taking notice.

"The driving force behind eAssist's development was to make great vehicles like the LaCrosse and Regal even better," said Dan Cottrell, General Motors assistant chief engineer for the eAssist powertrain. "With eAssist we can improve both vehicle performance as well as fuel economy."

Like the eAssist games, the driving experience in a Buick with eAssist is aided by an "Eco" gauge in the instrument cluster that indicates how efficiently the driver is operating the vehicle. The car's infotainment screen delivers more advanced reporting of what the intelligent powertrain is doing.

Ask an Engineer: Three Fuel Saving Tips from GM engineer Dan Cottrell

1.Think about what your feet are doing. Be light with the gas pedal and avoid hard braking, too. Smooth driving saves fuel. In cars with eAssist, an "Eco" gauge offers a visual aid to encourage efficient driving.
2.Tires can make a big difference. Low-rolling resistance models like the Michelin Energy Saver A/S on the LaCrosse with eAssist reduce friction between the tire and the road and increase fuel economy. If the tires roll easier, a vehicle can also coast longer on declines. With eAssist, fuel flow to the engine is cut off during coasting.
3.Aerodynamics is a big word, but benefitting from good aero can be easy. Roof racks and anything else attached to a car can increase drag and reduce fuel economy, so avoid bulky accessories. LaCrosse with eAssist benefits from a set of active shutters that block air from the front grille when it isn't needed, improving airflow over the car.
About Buick
Buick is a modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors with thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models, including the Enclave crossover, LaCrosse sedan, Regal sport sedan, Buick Verano sedan and the all-new 2013 Encore crossover. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick or at www.facebook.com/buick.





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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Most boring video game ever.
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Don't get me wrong, I do mild hypermiling when I drive to maximize regen and maintain momentum through lights, but this sounds as riveting as racewalking.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like videogames and I like efficient cars . . . but this is just boring and stupid. I guess it is educational.
      mapoftazifosho
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is a complete failure...who came up with this brilliant idea?
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow this is a bad idea! "Hey kids! Why don't we learn how to accelerate slow, coast as much as possible, don't slam on the brakes!" "keep the needle in the green zone...don't go too fast!!!" That will create a new generation of hybrid and EV fanatics. Who in there right mind would play this game? Why don't we follow this up with the "traffic jam game app." Here you would sit in a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam during rush hour, driving stop and go at 4 mph, learning how hybrids are so efficient in this type of driving because of features like engine shut off. Thrilling! If we want EVs and hybrids to be popular we need to reinforce what people LIKE about driving. Make it fun. Make it fast. Hybrids and EVs have great low end acceleration. EVs like the Tesla can outsmoke Mustangs. Seriously the marketeters who contracted out this game development are clueless.
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        Actually the stop and go sensation in traffic jams would be moderated if more people used constant even acceleration.
        mavsguy842
        • 2 Years Ago
        I'm not so sure an app that hopes to teach you how to drive a $30,000+ car is aimed at kids.
      Actionable Mango
      • 2 Years Ago
      This adds a nice line item to their bullet list of greenwashing efforts.