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I'm not 100% sold on this. I've had something like this in my car for 7 years now (instant MPG, average MPG, etc.) and until very recently, I didn't really look at it much, since it was hidden behind more useful information, like my in-car clock.

Now that I do watch my MPG indicator, and I try to maximize it, I've found out that driving style makes less of an impact for short city trips than the many other things that are out of my control, like how many red lights I have to sit at. I've also found out that I have literally zero control over the economy of my car on the highway.

So, with those two factors (red lights and highway economy) out of the drivers control, the decision that matters is the one thats made at the *dealership*, not the ones that you make while you're driving. I would hate to see an SUV branded as "Eco Friendly" just because it has some kind of "Eco Indicator". It could end up as another feature letting people rationalize their irresponsible vehicle purchase decision.

Dion Damato

I think this is a great idea! I'm not sure if what Toyota is planning on is entirely new. I once drove a rental car in Europe, which had a three light fuel economy indicator. Fittingly, the lights were Red (bad), Yellow (okay), and green (best).

If you put the petal to the metal off the line the light went directly to red. On the other hand if you accelerated at an economic rate the light would stay green. It was fun trying to accelerate as fast as possible while keep the light green.

Unfortunately, fuel is relatively cheap here and we Americans have too much discretionary income. American drivers would hardly blink at consistently red indicator lights, while in a hurry to get somewhere on our crowded freeways. So bring on the next generation.

I propose a real-time fuel economy indicator with wireless telemetry which is sent to the Save the Earth headquarters. Drivers would be warned of bad driving habits by lights and data feedback while driving. In addition, an average miles/gallon would be recorded based on these driving habits. This data would be sent via wireless network to Save the Earth headquarters. If the driver is worse than the accepted average money will be drawn directly from their bank account. This money will be dispersed among the good drivers, those below the average. Lastly, average drivers gain and lose nothing.

Man Law.

jim from the foothills

Bad idea. When you substitute gimmicks for technology you will defeat the purpose of the contest. Surely a professionally trained driver can squeeze 15% more efficiency out of today's automobile... so what... most people are not trained.

the first ford escort had a shift light... you are not breaking new ground here.

michael jones

Driving style is simething really important when you are on the road! Most people usually form their own style after their driving test. It is an interesting period!

truck rental

Very interesting! I love all the ecological awareness the financial crisis has brought upon us! I guess Marks was right- money dose determine our cultural values :)

Lifted trucks

Fuel efficiency isn’t all about the cars. this can matter on way of drive. Eco driving could improve fuel economy by 15%

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