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Efficiency Becomes More Intelligent with Ford Green Zone Systems

We all know that plug in hybrids such as the Ford Fusion, are incredibly efficient cars. But, what if we told that even these cars are not operating at their full potential when it comes to conserving fuel? A Plug-in hybrid will run on an electric charge then will operate on its gas engine once the battery is depleted. Ideally, the electric mode of a car would run in certain situations (like at lower speeds), and the car would intelligently switch between modes based on driving conditions, would help it save even more gas.

Vehicle batteries are most efficient when operating at slower speeds, so drivers may chose to save their battery power for certain areas in their commute. In London, for example, motorists driving on battery power are exempted from any of the costly inner city commuter fees.

In an attempt to make this sort of intelligent driving a reality, Ford has introduced its Ford Green Zone system. In its early stages, a driver would visit a website (or use the navigation system), and designate on a map where the vehicle should automatically go into electric mode, if it’s able.

The internal system would also be factoring in traffic conditions, the grade of the road, as well as the driver’s behavior to determine when it’s most efficient to use battery power versus gas power.

“We’re looking at ways to make driving more efficient, intelligent and safer,” explains Joel Brush, a global account director with Here, a subsidiary of technology giant Nokia, which is providing the underlying mapping information for the Ford Green Zone system.

The new technology would not only be a benefit to plug-in hybrids, but also conventional vehicles as well. Nokia’s mapping data is so precise that it can know when a car is approaching a hill or entering a turn, which could be used to change gears or direct headlights.

While Ford is still years away from bringing the Ford Green Zone to the dealerships, the automaker is confident that it will eventually bring the technology to at least some of its cars.

While the Ford Green Zone may not be here yet, here at Pegues Hurst Ford, we’ve got some hybrids that are waiting for you.

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