Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced the development of the Ecological Drive Assist System, which combines three functions to enhance fuel economy - the ECON Mode utilizes harmonized control of the continuously variable transmission (CVT) and engine to support more fuel-efficient driving; the guidance function uses speedometer colour to provide real-time guidance on fuel-efficient driving; and thescoring function provides feedback about current driving practices, as well as feedback on cumulative, long-term fuel-efficient driving.
The world's first system to combine these three functions in a comprehensive approach to fuel economy enhancement, the Ecological Drive Assist System will be implemented for the first time on the all-new Insight hybrid vehicle in spring 2009.
Furthermore, for the Japan-market version of the Insight equipped with the optional Honda HDD InterNavi System, the Ecological Drive Assist System has an added function that enables drivers to receive advice on driving practices that enhance fuel economy.
Since driving practices have a large impact on fuel economy, Honda developed the Ecological Drive Assist System to further enhance the real-world fuel economy through controlling the CVT and engine based on the actual driving conditions and enabling the driver to learn how to drive more fuel-efficiently. In particular, the scoring function provides cumulative, long-term feedback through graphic 'leaves', which grow over time as drivers become more proficient in fuel-efficient driving. The joy of growing these leaves over a long time will encourage drivers to learn how to drive more fuel-efficiently.
< Key features of the Ecological Drive Assist System >
1. ECON Mode which applies harmonized control on the CVT and engine to support more fuel-efficient driving
First implemented on the all-new Odyssey, ECON Mode has been advanced with added functions to control the idle stop and regenerative braking capabilities, which are unique to hybrid vehicles. As soon as the driver presses the ECON Mode button, the system will begin operating and the harmonized control of the CVT and engine will support more fuel-efficient driving. In addition, ECON Mode automatically achieves energy-saving control of the air-conditioning unit, extends the idle stop time, and increases regenerative recharging during deceleration to achieve more fuel-efficient driving.
2. The guidance function provides real-time fuel-efficient driving guidance
To increase driver awareness of more fuel-efficient driving, the ambient meter, which is a background colour on the speedometer, notifies the driver of the current driving conditions. The ambient meter displays a green colour when fuel-efficient driving is being achieved: a blue-green colour when relatively fuel-efficient driving is being achieved with smooth acceleration and deceleration; and a blue colour while the vehicle is consuming extra fuel with bursts of acceleration or deceleration. The ambient meter enables the driver to be aware of real-time fuel consumption patterns, and encourages the driver to achieve fuel-efficient driving while trying to maintain the green colour display. In Honda's hybrid system, the motor assists during acceleration and performs regenerative recharging during braking; as a result, braking practices also have an impact on fuel economy. The ambient meter is the world's first* function of its kind to support fuel-efficient driving by responding not just to accel ration practices, but to braking practices as well.
* According to Honda in-house research
Green: fuel-efficient driving Blue-Green: relatively fuel-efficient driving Blue: driving with extra consumption of fuel
Green: fuel-efficient driving
Blue-Green: relatively fuel-efficient driving
Blue: driving with extra consumption of fuel
3. The scoring function provides feedback about current driving practices, as well as cumulative, long-term feedback tracking progress in fuel-efficient driving
Located in the centre of the instrument panel of the all-new Insight, the Multi-Information Display offers drivers a selection of informational displays, including the scoring function, in which the number of 'leaves' displayed indicates the level of fuel-efficient driving performance. When the ignition switch is on, the display scores current driving performance. When the ignition switch is turned off, the 'leaves' in the top row display the score for the latest driving cycle (startup to shutdown), while a horizontal bar in the bottom row displays the cumulative lifetime performance. The Multi-Information Display also allows drivers to view fuel economy figures for the past three trips, as well as instantaneous and average fuel economy statistics. The world's first* such function to provide real-time and post-trip assessments of the impact of driving habits on fuel economy, the scoring function encourages drivers to take interest in and develop fuel-efficient driving habits over the long term.
* According to Honda in-house research
4. Honda HDD InterNavi System displays detailed scoring function statistics and provides advice for further enhancing fuel economy
With the optional Honda HDD InterNaviSystem, a driver can access a full history of scoring function results and additional detailed scoring function statistics. InterNavi also adds an advice function that offers advice for further enhancing fuel economy based upon an analysis of their own the driver's driving practices. Useful in improving fuel-efficient driving habits over the long term, these information may also be securely accessed over the Internet by InterNavi subscribers. This aspect of the Ecological Drive Assist System function will be available only for the Japan domestic model.