Display of leaves and vines… Ok. The engine pull up and shut down bar however was genius!
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Mar. 15, 2011
Ford’s SmartGauge w/ EcoGuide - Easily the best display available in any vehicle on any continent!
Praised by CleanMPG as “Spectacularly clean and concise”, Ford’s SmartGauge with EcoGuide digital instrument cluster placed Ford in the driver’s seat where hybrid electric vehicles are concerned. This innovative feature uses instantaneous power and fuel consumption data to coach drivers of both the 2011 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ hybrids to drive more fuel efficiently.
Ford today said that it has received two patents related to the Fusion/MKZ Hybrid’s SmartGauge with EcoGuide instrument cluster.
The first patent was awarded earlier this year and covers EcoGuide, the display of leaves and vines that “reacts” to short-term driving habits and coaches drivers in a way that helps them achieve the best fuel economy.
The second and far more important patent was awarded March 1. It covers the power threshold gauge that measures and displays power demand at any given moment.
David Watson, Research Engineer and part inventor of SmartGauge with EcoGuide:
“These patents are a symbol of Ford’s commitment to finding ways to positively change driving behaviors to help maximize fuel efficiency.”
SmartGauge with EcoGuide features (2) 4.3-inch full-color liquid crystal display (LCD) screens on either side of the analog speedometer that can be configured to show different levels of information, including fuel and battery power levels, and average and instant miles per gallon.
The power threshold gauge is important, Watson explained, because it shows how close a vehicle is to switching from electric-only mode to ICE-On mode. With that information, the driver may adjust driving behavior to try and keep the vehicle in electric-only mode.
EcoGuide displays how many miles per gallon a vehicle is getting at any given moment (aFCD) and estimates how many more miles a vehicle has until it runs out of fuel (DTE).
SmartGauge with EcoGuide - Four different end user selectable displays
: This is the basic level of information such as fuel level and battery charge status.
: The default display mode, this screen displays what mode the vehicle is operating in and instantaneous fuel economy; it includes a tachometer.
: This screen includes a gauge that shows gasoline and electric power use.
: This level gives a full range of hybrid information that allows drivers to monitor the level of their driving efficiency.
On the last, "Empower display", notice the pull up/ICE-On threshold between PWR and EV along the left side of the display? That my friends is the real deal when it comes to next generation fuel consumption displays.
All levels show engine coolant temperature and the gear the vehicle is in. Also, they are customizable to show instant fuel economy; fuel economy history; odometer and trip data, including trip fuel economy; long-term fuel economy and miles to empty. And while most competitive vehicles have some of this information in the center stack, Ford conveniently located it in front of the driver within the gauge cluster.
Ford researchers, designers and engineers collaborated with IDEO and Smart Design, two world leaders in helping consumers connect with technology, as well as automotive electronics technology supplier Johnson Controls to design and develop the unique instrument cluster.
Watson said these are just the first two patents that SmartGauge with EcoGuide has earned, and we expect the technology to earn yet another on the coolant temperature color change from none to some Hybrid functionality to full functionality.
Other related SmartGauge with EcoGuide write-ups:
Meet the Ford Employee Partly Responsible for Ford’s SmartGauge with EcoGuide
2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Says "Green" With...Flowers
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid Wins Best Graphic Display Award
Ford 'gauges' bid for better mileage
Ford’s SmartGauge with EcoGuide, design details revealed
Ford designs their own high end FCDs for the new Fusion/Milan Hybrids