Just over a week ago, Fiat unveiled the Uno Supermini in Brazil. The company followed that unveiling with the debut of a concept study car called the Uno Ecology. Though we don't expect either vehicle to come here, some of the earth-friendly technology found on the Ecology model could quickly spread throughout the Fiat lineup, including U.S.-bound models.
Fiat has earned some recognition for its new eco:Drive system that debuted last fall at the Paris Motor Show. During the recent MediaGuardian Innovation Awards in London, eco:Drive won the top prize for digital technology. The eco:Drive system allows the driver to plug a USB flash drive into the car so that driving data can be automatically downloaded. The driver can then plug in the flash drive to a computer where software can analyze the data and make suggestions about adjusting driving style
We were introduced to Fiat's eco:Drive system during the Paris Motor Show in October. If you don't remember, no worries. Here's a refresher: eco:Drive uses a USB stick that fits in certain Fiat model dashboards and records information on how you're driving. This information is then fed into your computes, which looks at areas where you could have made a greener driving choice. There is also an eco:Village online community where users help each other drive better and help Fiat improve the system.
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 drivi