Paradoxically, the “driver” portion of the GHG emissions equation holds the potential for substantial emission reductions at minimal cost, but it is often overlooked. Ultimately, drivers decide which vehicles and fuels they will purchase and how those vehicles will be driven. While our major focus is on the vehicles we make, we have also reached out to drivers around the world to promote the practice of “eco-driving.” We do this by providing training, information and vehicle technology that helps drivers learn how to drive using the least fuel possible. We also recently announced a Personalized Fuel Efficiency App Challenge, which will allow software developers to help customers optimize their personal fuel economy performance on the road and share that information with others.

Helping Drivers Improve Fuel Efficiency with Information Technology

Ford’s in-vehicle technology system – MyFord Touch® – 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. Ford testing shows that Eco-Route can help achieve fuel economy gains of up to 15 percent. This technology will be available across our full range of vehicles, from affordable small cars to high-end luxury vehicles. It debuted on the 2011 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers, followed by the 2011 Ford Explorer and 2012 Ford Focus in North America, and it is now available on 10 Ford vehicles for the 2013 model year: the Ford Escape, Explorer, Focus, Fusion, C-MAX, Taurus, Edge, Flex, F-150 and Super Duty®. By 2015, approximately 80 percent of Ford’s North American models will offer MyFord Touch, with similar percentages predicted for the world market. (SYNC® with MyFord Touch will be launched in Europe in 2012, initially on the Ford B-MAX.)

SmartGauge® with EcoGuide is a dashboard display in the Ford Fusion, C-MAX and Lincoln MKZ Hybrids, the Fusion and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids, and the Focus Electric that gives drivers information to help them maximize fuel efficiency. The system provides information on current fuel economy, fuel economy history, odometer reading, engine coolant temperature, fuel level, battery charge status, electric vehicle mode, tachometer, engine output power, battery output power, power to wheels, engine pull-up threshold and accessory power consumption. Drivers can use the system to track their long-term fuel economy progress and illustrate it either with a traditional chart or using an innovative display of “growing leaves and vines.” The more efficient a customer is, the more lush the leaves and vines, creating a visual reward for the driver’s efforts. In addition, the real-time system feedback allows drivers to assess and modify their driving habits to achieve maximum fuel economy.

In Europe, we offer the EcoMode system to help drivers maximize their fuel economy. EcoMode was first presented in the Ford Focus ECOnetic in Europe in 2009 and has since been made available in a wider range of vehicles. This system monitors the key parameters for optimal fuel consumption that drivers can affect by changing their driving behavior, including gear shifting, anticipation (i.e., driving as consistently and smoothly as possible) and motorway driving (i.e., driving with the most efficient speed on highways and country roads). In addition, the system considers the percentage of cold-engine short trips. Through this monitoring process, Ford EcoMode generates a driver profile with a scoring system for these driving parameters and offers information on how to improve fuel economy over time. This process can be translated into driver advice that can help make the best use of the vehicle’s technology. The system is now available in Europe on the new Fiesta, all-new B-MAX, Focus, C-MAX, new Kuga, Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy.

Eco-Driving Information and Training

Ford has demonstrated that drivers who practice “eco-driving” can improve their fuel economy by an average of 24 percent. Eco-driving tips are available to the public on Ford’s website, and online training is available through the Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program. In addition, a web-based eco-driving program has been available to all U.S. salaried Ford employees since 2006.

Ford began work on the eco-driving concept in 2000, when we first offered an eco-driving program through our German dealerships, in partnership with the German Federation of Driving Instructor Associations and the German Road Safety Council. That program, which continues today, trains drivers in smarter and greener driving skills and vehicle maintenance habits. It uses specially trained and certified instructors to run programs for several target groups, including fleet drivers and customers. By the end of 2012, more than 17,000 German drivers had been “eco-trained” through this program under real-world conditions.

In 2012, Ford accelerated its support for a European project called ECOWILL. This project, which began in 2010 and is planned to last three years, is based on the premise that drivers’ “eco-behavior” has a great potential to reduce CO2 from motoring without making it less “fun to drive.” ECOWILL has two major strategic goals:

  • A mass roll-out of high-quality/standardized short duration eco-driving trainings. Ford operates one-hour courses with professional driving instructors as part of this goal.
  • Promoting the education and testing of eco-driving for learner drivers in regular driving school under the leadership of EFA, the European driving school association.

In early 2012, we held media test drives in conjunction with the ECOWILL project, which convinced European journalists that the eco-driving approach works well on the road. Jointly with trainers from the European Driving School Association, journalists achieved a 22 percent improvement in fuel consumption by applying the eco-driving style. In spring 2012, we also supported the project’s roll-out phase. Free ECOWILL eco-driving trainings were run for 200 visitors at the Leipzig auto show (AMI Leipzig). At this, Germany’s largest auto show, Ford partnered with DVR (the German Road Safety Council) to implement the training.

In Asia Pacific and Africa, we launched the Ford DSFL driver training program in 2008. In this region the program places equal emphasis on safe driving and eco-driving, as customers are interested in both. In 2012, Ford DSFL in Asia trained licensed drivers in mainland China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and South Africa. Approximately 13,500 drivers were trained in 2012, and we expect to train another 14,000 in 2013. More than 63,000 people have been trained in the Asia Pacific and Africa region since the program began.


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Ford’s 2012/13 Sustainability Report is summarized in this 8-page downloadable document.

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