We've seen various schemes by manufacturers to get drivers to operate their vehicles more efficiently. Nissan has a pedal that pushes back at you and many manufacturers are now putting eco-gauges inside their cars. Real-time mile per gallon indicators have proven useful to many drivers as well. Fiat is looking to do even better, using the processing power of your personal computer to analyze your driving habits. Using Fiat's Blue&Me technology, a USB drive is used to download your past driving statistics, which are then transferred to your PC. Next, a computer application called eco:Drive analyzes the data and gives you a score, with 100 being the most efficient. The eco:Drive application then give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to improve your score.
An online community of eco:Drive users will allow anyone to compare their driving statistics to other people in real-time. More drivers will help the database offer better solutions to its user base. The application is now in beta and can be downloaded at Fiat's web site here.

[Source: Fiat]

Press Release:

Fiat and AKQA launch eco:Drive

LONDON, Oct. 7, 2008 - Fiat and AKQA have developed eco:Drive. A motor and technology first for linking drivers with in-car telemetry -- improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions.

eco:Drive is the very latest in digital integrated technology. It is an easy-to-use computer application that connects your car to your PC. Using cutting-edge analytic software, eco:Drive dissects and evaluates your driving style and shows you ways to cut down on fuel consumption, reducing your CO2 emissions and saving you money. In fact, with consistent use of the application, you can expect to reduce your CO2 emissions by up to 15 per cent.

How it works:

-- Your driving data (in-car telemetry data) is transferred from your Fiat to your computer, by means of a USB stick and Fiat's Blue&Me(TM) technology.

-- The eco:Drive application on your computer analyses your acceleration, deceleration, gear changes and speed.

-- It then awards you a mark out of 100, according to how efficiently you have driven.

-- Step-by-step tutorials then help you improve your score, giving you practical advice on how to perfect your driving style, using information from your own journeys.

eco:Drive is designed to empower Fiat drivers worldwide. As the number of users grows, so does the online eco:Drive community, enabling drivers not only to access their own performance data, but also to see where they stand within the global eco:Drive family. What is more, the system will evolve and develop with feedback from each eco:Driver taking part. As numbers grow, the application will automatically update and improve.

The beta application, developed by AKQA in conjunction with Fiat's Engineering and Design Department in Turin, was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show and is available for download in English, French and Italian from fiat.com.

Lorenzo Sistino, Fiat Automobiles CEO, speaking at the Paris Motorshow, commented, "Eco:drive is also the first step of a revolution; in fact, for the first time ever, a standard vehicle is connected with a PC and with the Web. It is also an innovative technology, but with an important social and educational objective: this is the first time that an automotive brand has launched an interactive technology that helps its customers improve their style of driving in order to save and to respect the environment."

"This is a significant advance in automotive technology - this is the first application which links drivers with in-car diagnostics; it will shape the way all car manufacturers consider digital in the future and we're thrilled that Fiat are leading the way with AKQA", said Luis Cilimingras, Responsible of Digital strategy at Fiat.

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