Ford unwrapped its new MyFord Touch infotainment system at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show in January, The fuel-efficiency of an engine is one way to save gas, but how that engine is used greatly effects fuel economy too.
The MyFord system also offers up a bar chart next to the fuel display that shows real-time fuel economy performance along with mpg averages for the past 5, 10, and 30 minutes. Impressive stuff, but Ford has some competition. Garmin's similarly titled ecoRoute software offers many of the same options--it maps the most fuel efficient routes, tracks fuel usage over time, and features a report that keeps track of mileage and fuel use on a per-trip basis.
The new system also provides sophisticated data feedback on the car's fuel consumption that can "coach" drivers to maximize efficiency by pointing them towards the most economical driving techniques.
MyFord Touch will launch on the 2011 Ford Edge this summer, and then in 2012 on the Ford Focus. MyLincoln Touch will be standard on new Lincoln vehicles, starting with the 2011 Lincoln MKX.
NAVIGATION ADDS ECO-ROUTE FEATURE
- New MyFord TouchTM 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
- 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
DEARBORN, Mich., April 15, 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 TouchTM -
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 SmartGaugeTM 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
"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, 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 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-Mezigian,
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-Mezigian
said. "The benefits will be greater because MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch
will be widely available in the future."
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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