Toyota to Add "Eco Driving Indicators" to All U.S. Vehicles
Heads-up Autoblog! Buried in a boring-looking post on Toyota's Open Road blog: news that the Japanese manufacturer will follow Nissan's lead and add a real-time fuel economy gauge to all its Toyota, Scion and Lexus vehicles. The yet-to-be-finalized gizmo will debut in the next-generation 4-Runner, launched in August ‘09. ToMoCo's Corporate Comms Director Jon F. Thompson writes that the Eco Driving Indicator will include an "Eco Zone Display" that will tell the driver that they are saving money and the planet, and reducing our need for oil-related foreign military entanglements [paraphrasing]. Autobox-equipped vehicles get an "Eco Lamp" that illuminates once the driver enters the “Eco Zone” (da da da da da, da da da da). Drivers of manual transmission-equipped vehicles (do they still make those?) light the lamp by hitting the most fuel efficient shift point. The system will, of course, include an Average Fuel Consumption Meter to help aspiring hypermilers frustrate dangerous drivers yakking on the cell in their [non-Toyota] gas hogs. I mean, optimize their fuel economy. Oh, and Thompson says social engineering rocks! "We’ve learned that as we work to make our vehicles more efficient, we also can work to make our drivers more efficient."
johnf514, how did you get that in your 2007 Mazda 3? I have one too (with the 4-speed auto) and that would be a fun thing to have. I've driven a Prius before and I think it does impact your driving, in a good way
those economy meters go back even further. A friend of my brother's had a '63 Grand Prix with on of those. I have mixed feelings about them--worry about inconsiderate economy addicts doing the economy slow-mo in traffic. Between them and the cell phone addicts, and text messagers, we could all grind to a halt even sooner during rush hour. The economy meters should come with a warning that says "be considerate of all the traffic behind you."
My grandparents have a 1976 Lincoln Mark IV sitting in their garage with the 460 cu.in. V8 under the hood-big motor for a big car. It too has an economy display, in the form of an orange light that flickers on every time you pull away from a standing stop!!! Oh, the light says "Lo Fuel Econ".
I drive my 2001 4 cyl 5spd Accord like a bat out of Hell, and no vacuum gauge or digital game display is gonna change what I do.