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Ford Transit looking ahead with fuel-saving satnav

  • Tech and satnav combine to cut fuel burn
  • 2019 Ford vans – heavier loads, less cost
  • ‘Technical first for a commercial vehicle’
SMART VANS: Ford's 2019 Transits not only look great - they also have some fancy new gadgets. Image: Ford UK
SMART VANS: Ford’s 2019 Transits not only look great – they also have some fancy new gadgets, too. Image: Ford UK

LONDON, England – A fuel-saving guide from Ford UK – titled ‘Ford EcoGuide’ – claims to be able to help drivers succeed at saving fuel by showing them when to slow down and change gear.

”The computation,” Ford says, ”is based on situations ahead, even those out of sight, such as junctions, speed limits, and hills.”

The automaker reminds that unnecessary braking can be as important as avoiding unnecessary acceleration and suggests that changing driving habits can cut fuel consumption by as much as 12%.

SMART VANS: Ford's 2019 Transits not only look great - they also have some fancy new gadgets. Image: Ford UK
SMART VANS: Ford’s 2019 Transits – good looks and a computer readout linked to a satnav that suggests when the driver should lift foot.  Image: Ford UK

This system is said to be a first for a commercial vehicle – in this case the brand’s latest seen-everywhere Ford Transit. It integrates with the vehicle’s satnav and will be introduced (in the UK at least) to 2019 Ford Transits and later to other models.

END HARD BRAKING

Essentially, the system tells the driver when to decelerate in good time to avoid hard braking, based on what lies ahead… perhaps even out of sight.

The slow down! suggestions will be shown on the vehicle’s instrument cluster.

Michael McDonagh, Ford Europe’s global chief programme engineer for Transit, told The Corner in media release: “Everybody’s experienced the sudden requirement for hard-braking – perhaps into a bend that proves tighter than expected – then accelerate once the hazard is past.

”EcoGuide is intended to avoid this and thereby save fuel, time and stress.”

SMART VANS: Ford's 2019 Transits not only look great - they also have some fancy new gadgets. Image: Ford UK
SMART VANS: Ford’s 2019 Transits not only look great – they also have a cool new office. Image: Ford UK

Ford will introduce EcoGuide to new Transit, Transit Custom van, and Tourneo Custom minibus from mid-2019.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS…

Rebecca Ashton, head of policy and research for IAM UK’s RoadSmart which runs eco-driving training courses, advised: ”Driving smoothly and assessing the road ahead as much as possible can reduce fuel-consumption by as much as 12%.”

Smooth driving is encouraged by information from Ford’s satellite navigation which warns of road junctions, gradients, bends, and upcoming speed limits.

Based on this information, the system prompts the driver to decelerate; icons on gearshift indicator suggest the ideal gear; unnecessary braking or acceleration is achieved.

READ MORE Ford features on Carman’s Corner

EcoGuide will also indicate, with a halo around the digital speedometer, how the driver is adapting and a report can be viewed after each trip.

SMART VANS: Ford's 2019 Transits not only look great - they also have some fancy new gadgets. Image: Ford UK
SMART VANS: Ford’s 2019 Transits – high tech, heavier loads, better looks. Image: Ford UK

Ford adds: ”As well as EcoGuide, the 2019 Transits can handle heavier loads; upgraded engines have improved fuel efficiency by as much as seven percent.

MODERN TECH

”The vehicles can also have a segment-first diesel EcoBlue Hybrid power train that delivers about three percent better fuel-efficiency than standard diesel models – or as much as eight percent around town.”

The latest Transits, the automaker says, are also connected as never before and offer FordPass Connect on-board modem technology which will help fleet professionals to optimise running costs.

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