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Ford Earns Two Patents For Fuel-Efficiency Technologies

Written by Staff. Posted in Ford News

Published on April 28, 2016 with 1 Comment

While their advanced hybrid powertrains are key enablers of their best-in-class fuel economy, cars like the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid also pack a wide range of other efficiency enhancers, all working together to deliver optimum performance for environmentally conscious drivers. Among them: Ford’s unique SmartGauge with EcoGuide, a breakthrough so innovative it just received two patents from the U.S. government.

SmartGauge with EcoGuide provides an instrument cluster specifically designed to help drivers get the most out of Ford’s hybrid propulsion systems by “coaching” them on new, more economical driving styles. Earning one of the new patents was the EcoGuide component of the system, which displays graphics of leaves and vines that “grow” as an individual’s short-term driving habits become more efficient. The other patent was awarded for the system’s power-threshold gauge, which displays information about how close a Ford hybrid vehicle is to switching from its all-electric driving mode to its blend mode; this helps owners tailor their driving to maximize electric-only driving.

“These two parts contribute to the overall purpose of SmartGauge with EcoGuide, which is to help drivers instantaneously achieve maximum fuel economy,” said Gil Portalatin, hybrid applications manager.

Leveraging two 4.3-inch full-color LCD screens on either side of an analog speedometer, SmartGauge with EcoGuide also can provide a wide range of other useful information for drivers, who can select from four different levels of data:

* Inform—This basic setting displays typical driver-oriented information such as the vehicle’s fuel level and battery-charge status.
* Enlighten—As the default mode for the system, the “Enlighten” setting adds data about the mode in which the vehicle is operating, instantaneous fuel economy and a tachometer.
* Engage—Selecting this mode brings online a gauge showing gasoline and electric-power use.
* Empower—At this level, drivers benefit from a full complement of hybrid information, allowing them to monitor their driving efficiency using real-time data.

“Increasing gas prices have people paying more attention to the fuel economy a vehicle offers, but rarely do they look at their own driving habits to help boost miles per gallon,” said 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.”

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Fords Magazine Staff is a group of car lovers, editors, and writers who have a passion for Ford Motors. Besides being all around car nerds and proud owners of Fords, our staff is dedicated to providing you breaking news, reviews, and tutorials.

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  1. Wow pretty cool new ideas!

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