First, the news: a study released last week found that vehicles with telematics - communication devices that exchange information with a network about traffic and can help the driver change their driving style to avoid stop-start conditions (something like this) - deliver fuel economy on par with hybrids. Depending on how far ahead the telematics is programmed (60 seconds, 180 seconds), the fuel efficiency of the non-hybrid vehicles increased up to 33 percent (compared to 15-25 for the standard hybrids).
But why is the presentation of this information described as a competitive one of hybrids vs. telematics.
Saving fuel and driving smarter are not an either/or situation. Yes, it's useful to use this type of comparison because a lot of people understand the hybrids = fuel savings equation. But considering that this study was done by engineers at Australia's University of Melbourne, it seems like a no brainer to also figure out the potential fuel savings of a hybrid with telematics, don't you think?