In today's world, fuel efficiency has become a major concern for drivers. Between high fuel prices and a desire to help the environment, more and more of today's vehicles are being equipped with technology that is not only environmentally-friendly but plays a key role in maximizing fuel efficiency. One auto manufacturer that has led the way in this technology is Honda, and with the development of the Honda Eco Assist feature on many of its vehicles drivers are in essence being taught by their vehicles how to become better drivers.
How Does It Work?
The Honda Eco Assist feature "coaches" drivers to become more aware of fuel efficiency by using a sophisticated feedback system that entails the use of color-changing displays within the speedometer. A number of Honda vehicles are equipped with this technology, including:
- Insight hybrid
The speedometer displays are shown in real-time, allowing drivers to see what they are doing at that precise moment. For example, smooth acceleration and braking may cause the display to glow green, while poor habits such as aggressive starts and stops will have it glowing blue.
The ECON Button
All vehicles equipped with the Honda Eco Assist feature come with a green ECON button, which is located on the dashboard near the steering wheel. When this button is pushed, it activates a series of operations designed to maximize other parts of the vehicle, such as:
- Power train
- Air conditioning
With this feature, a vehicle's air conditioning will consume less energy by operating in re-circulation mode or lessening the speed of the automatic climate control blower. In addition, a lower throttle pedal setting will limit the power and torque used by the vehicle, also helping to save fuel.
Special Hybrid Features
On hybrid vehicles, the Honda Eco Assist feature offers the above-mentioned tools along with some additional ones. Additional feedback for drivers is available using a Multi-Information Display, also known as a MID. This feature calculates fuel efficiency for the driver's past three trips, along with current and average fuel economy statistics. The display on the dashboard resembles a video game, as good driving habits are rewarded with a display of green leaves in the instrument cluster. The vehicle essentially keeps score of the driver's good driving habits, displaying both the score for their most recent trip as well as their cumulative lifetime driving performance.
For drivers who want to save fuel and the environment, the Honda Eco Assist feature allows them to do all this and much more.