New Honda Insight teaches drivers how to save fuel

Published: 20 November 2008

Honda’s new Insight hybrid boasts some new-fangled tech called Ecological Drive Assist – which helps drivers of the new petrol-electric car to save fuel as they drive along.

Ecological Drive Assist System? Sounds like marketing jargon to me!

Look past the wacky sounding name and Honda’s latest gimmick sounds like a sound idea. Remember all the fuss about a Toyota Prius having worse fuel economy in the real world than convetional cars? Well, Honda claims this is because we don’t know how to drive a hybrid car ‘greenly’. Honda’s EDAS is designed to teach us the ropes of eco motoring.

How does it work on the new Honda Insight?

There are three different features on the Honda system designed to improve fuel economy.

The first is an Econ button. Pressing it makes the Insight’s ECU enter a fuel-saving mode. It adjusts the air con and gobbles up more energy from regenerative braking to recharge the Insight’s batteries.

The Guidance function of the system alters the background colour of the speedo depending on driving style. A green glow indicates planet-friendly driving, while dark blue means you are chewing through petrol. Honda says that this indicator system is the world’s first to analyse braking style as well as acceleration.

I guess it has a good old-fashioned mpg meter too?

Of course. At the end of the trip, the system gives you a score rating how fuel efficient your whole journey has been. The system stores and accumulates your previous ‘scores’ to give you an overall lifetime eco-score. A healthy fully grown tree graphic equals a life of fewer fuel stops.

This world-first technology will arrive when the Insight debuts in spring 2009.

>> Another example of Honda’s out of the box thinking? Or a gimmick too far? Click ‘Add your comment’ and sound off