Brian Joss – While you can’t control the cost of fuel, you can control the way you drive which will make filling up the tank easier on your pocket.
Luckily, cars come packed with smart technologies that can make your drive easier and more fuel efficient. Here are five in-car technologies that are available in various Ford passenger and commercial vehicles that can help you limit your visits to the pump.
Adaptive Cruise Control
You might think that cruise control was introduced to appease our lazier side, but this smart feature can actually help save fuel in two ways. When driving on the highway, this feature keeps you from needlessly driving at a faster and less-efficient speed. It also helps you maintain a constant speed, which means you don’t waste fuel by unnecessarily braking and accelerating. Ford’s Adaptive Cruise Control takes these advantages one step further. When engaged, a radar sensor detects the speed of other vehicles ahead and automatically adjusts your speed to cruise at a safe distance. This means you won’t be caught off-guard and forced to aggressively brake and then accelerate again – a major cause of wasted fuel on the highways.
When you drive your car, you sometimes have to wait in the parking lot, waiting to pick up the kids, or at the drive-through. Did you know that keeping your engine running while idling wastes fuel? When your vehicle is safely parked for more than a couple of minutes, turn off the engine. You’ll use less fuel starting your engine back up again, than you will by keeping it running for several minutes. What if you’re waiting at a traffic light? Ford’s Start-Stop technology automatically shuts off the engine when you come to a complete stop. When you release the brake, the engine restarts smoothly and quickly, making it even easier for you to avoid unnecessary idling.
Active Park Assist
How many hours of your life have you spent searching for the perfect parking spot? It’s probably not something you want to think about too much, however we have all wasted time and fuel looking for an easy and convenient parking spot. Ford’s Active Park Assist can help you avoid aimless driving around and burning through your tank of fuel. The convenient driver’s aid can assess if a parking spot is the right size; if it’s a fit. Active Park Assist steers your vehicle into the spot while you control only the accelerator and brakes. It takes all the guesswork out of parking; you’ll never have to second-guess a small parking space again.
Have you ever loaned your car to a friend or family member, only for them to return it with an empty tank? While Ford’s MyKey won’t improve your friends’ manners, however it may encourage them to drive more efficiently. A pre-programed key allows you to place limits on some in-car features, you can set your car’s maximum speed and keep track of how far your car is driven. Speeding wastes fuel, and fuel economy decreases rapidly at speeds above 80 km/h. By setting the vehicle’s speed limit, your guest driver won’t be able to override the set speed by fully depressing the accelerator pedal or by using cruise control.
SYNC®3 with Navigation
When you drive to a new part of town or go on a road trip, it’s not unusual to get a little lost along the way. To make sure you don’t clock any unnecessary miles, plan ahead and map the most fuel-efficient route. A good GPS setup will do the trick, and with Ford’s SYNC®3 with Navigation feature, you will easily be able to navigate your way using simple voice commands. SYNC®3 with Navigation can also help you view your distance covered, trip time and distance-to-empty for two separate trips. For an extra fuel-efficient push, try combining trips. Starting up a cold engine repeatedly for many short trips will use more fuel than going on a single, longer trip. So, when you have to drive for errands, get as many accomplished as you can in one trip, to maximize your fuel economy.
With these smart five in car technologies from Ford, you will be able to control the way you drive, get more mileage on your tank of fuel, making your daily drive easier and fuel efficient!
CAPTION: Filling up: easier on the pocket with technology. Picture: Quickpic