Ever wonder how your drive to the office might be effecting your fuel economy? The engineers over at Fiat have and to help educate drivers have introduced the BLUE&ME USB port in conjunction with Microsoft and the eco:Drive program. The program reads the car’s systems and stores the information on a removable USB key. The result? Information on your driving, coaching and even comparisons that lets you see how you are effecting the environment compared to others that drive Fiats and use the system.
The idea is actually pretty cool when you think about all of the information it provides and we are excited to see that it will be available on the 2012 Fiat 500 coming to the U.S. The Fiat isn’t going to be a barnburner when it gets here, at least not on the power front. That said, it will be good on gas with a manual transmission—the EPA-certified fuel economy rating rings in at 30/38-mpg city/hwy. The Fiat 500 seems to be biased to manuals (about time) with the 6-speed automatic transmission seeing about a 3-mpg drop in fuel economy. Oddly, that is the exact opposite of the Ford Fiesta with Microsoft Sync and MyFord.
The BLUE&ME and eco:Drive system help capitalize on the “green” angle by giving conscientious drivers the ability to see the carbon footprint of their driving on each journey, giving a driving rating out of 100 pts, charting your ratings, allowing comparison with other Fiat drivers around the world and you can offset your emissions by adding your figures to one of Fiat’s carbon offset programs. Oh and did we mention the coaching? Since the car knows when you are going up and incline or around a corner, it will give you tips like lowering your speed to get better fuel economy or braking prior to a corner instead of changing down a gear. The slogan really says it all: “From car to PC in a USB.”
Check out the videos below to see the possibilities and the ease of the eco:Drive system and imagine how it might help you if you are in the market for a new small car in the near future.