Monday, March 16, 2009

Fiat Bravo and the cutting-edge “eco:Drive”

Fiat S.p.A.Image via Wikipedia

After FIAT 500 and FIAT Grande Punto, also those buying FIAT Bravos with Blue&Me can use “eco:Drive”, a state-of-the-art system that gives drivers a better perception of their own driving style and how that influences consumption and emission of polluting substances.

The feature is available free of charge from and in the first five months of its launch the software application (to install on your own computer) was downloaded by about 35,000 users. Not to mention the 10,000-plus people using it all the time to monitor their driving style as well as living it up at “eco:Ville”, the online community for sharing interest and commitment to eco-responsible driving. So, great public success but real commitment too: thanks to “eco:Drive” advice Europe’s CO2 emissions can be cut down by over 700 tons, which is enough energy to light up the streets of a city the size of Geneva for eight months.

How does it work? As you drive, “eco:Drive” collects information on how you handle the vehicle and its efficiency. All data are sent into a standard USB using the versatile Blue&Me’s USB port so they are available for subsequent viewing on a computer. The user can then take a careful look at the consumption and emissions for each journey (ecoIndex) and be advised on how to approach driving to achieve lower environmental impact. In point of fact, thanks to a series of progressive tutorials, you can raise your score and that means the more careful – eco-responsible – driver can expect a 15% improvement in vehicle handling, which in turn means cutting CO2 by 15% and an annual fuel saving of anything from 120 to 200 euros.

In 2009, hot on the heels of 500, Grande Punto and Bravo, the system will extend to the entire FIAT range carrying Blue&Me and will enjoy ongoing development thanks to user input, making it even more useful. Lastly, remember that “eco:Drive” is an evolution of Blue&Me, the platform developed by FIAT Group Automobiles in partnership with Microsoft, that has already received international awards, with 500,000 units fitted to various group models in the last two years.
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