Suppose for a minute, you lease a new car and part of your decision process was to save money on your running costs. Yes, its complex deciding on which one you should have and eco-car leasing is better populated with options than ever. Now, for example, you will probably have included some of the BMW diesel range which can compete head to head with hybrids, plug in hybrids and full out electrics.
Ford, whose EcoTech 1.0 petrol engine we have tested here, are running a competition for a programmer/APP designer to come up with an interface that allows them to check levels, settings and range/economy on their smartphone.
They have labelled it the Personalized Fuel Efficiency App Challenge and hope to get ahead in the race to make hybrid/electric cars less complex to the end user.
Fords sensitivity has come about because of recent cases in the US where both the C-Max and Fusion have returned poorer consumption figures than Ford advertised. In the United States this is rather more serious than it is in Europe, where the word indicative is spread liberally about the brochure to protect a manufacturer. Without doubt the cars are capable of returning consumption figures equal to the published data. But, hybrid vehicle consumption is affected much more by driving style than petrol and diesel cars, so Ford set about coming up with a scheme of optimizing a driving style and the APP idea was born.
The App will be expected to look at live and short term historic data to analyse a driving style. This way it can help to work to an optimum style. In time, the APP can be extended to include warnings such as fuel level, battery level and temperatures it may also be extended to incorporate route planning and optimizing the route and for sure it will in the US be used as proof in an ever more litigation littered society.