Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Living by the numbers: Fiat Eco Drive

If you talk to any management guru, sit in any MBA class, listen to a coach, they all share a common belief. The power of feedback and the power of measuring. For some reason human beings need some measurement in order to improve, in order to know where they stand in the pecking order. This is the idea behind the Fiat Eco Drive which is a software package for your car, yes your car, that tracks the efficiency of your driving style and offers ways you can improve it. Basically the way it works is that in featured cars, you plug a USB Flash Drive into your car and use it to collect data about your driving. When you get home, you plug the USB Flash Drive into your computer and it uploads it for analysis and community!

Nike has figured this out a long time ago with the Nike+ system as described in this WIred Magazine article. Prius drivers know this well, often trying to game their driving for maximum efficiency. There is something about making things a game that motivates people.

I think that's one of the challenges of reducing one's carbon footprint in that there is no clear visible trace of one's carbon footprint. No easy way to visualize to understand your impact. It's not enough to be aware of your own footprint but others do as well. For instance if a car's exhaust is invisible we tend to discount it, but if it's sooty we tend to want to reduce it. We all know that exhaust is bad, that's why we expel is AWAY from us, but we don't see it. Most of our Waste is sent AWAY so it's out of sight out of mind. That's what makes home composting so interesting is that it causes you to be conscious of your waste.

I'm curious to see if Fiat's Eco Drive changes driving behavior, but I like a game that games our own impulses. It scares me in some ways (since those same buttons are pushed to get us to buy stuff) but I think it's an interesting approach.

What personal games can we do to make us aware of our carbon footprint?


At 1:32 PM , Blogger Adam Creeger said...

Hey! It is good to see people in the Bay Area notice eco:Drive. I was lucky enough to be the Technical Architect for the product - I've now moved to SF (from London), so don't hear much local discussion of it! :-)

At 7:16 PM , Blogger sandhiya said...

Excellent article - thanks! It seems that you have answered the best related to the Topic with all best example as well...

Car Exhausts


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