I love the fact that environmental issues are getting much more press than they ever have before, and that individuals are paying more attention to how we can make the world a cleaner place. Recently, Scobleizer wrote a quick post about cruising around with a friend in his friend’s Toyota Prius. The Prius has a great heads-up display that encourages “hypermiling” – which is the new word for driving in a way that conserves gas. The display screen makes driving more economically like a game, where you can see where your power is coming from and what your instant gas mileage (your score in the game) is:
I think they could take the Prius hypermiling game a step further by scoring you on the gas you have used in the current month, and displaying how much you had used at the same time in the previous month. The car could display this gas usage score in dollars by having the car ask you how much you paid every time it detects a fill-up, then tracking it as you burn it up. That way your hypermiling score takes into account driving your car less, finding cheaper gas, and other things that should give you credit. It also wouldn’t hurt to show your “highest score” on the display. Maybe you even get to type your three initials in when you beat the high score – ok, maybe that’s taking it a bit too far.
There are many ways to conserve gas while you are driving, but the main way according to recent CNN coverage of hypermiling is to basically drive with slower accelerations and decelerations – don’t slam the pedal down to get rolling, and let it go and let the car drift to a stop when braking. While this type of driving is somewhat granny-like, it’s the best way to win the game, and save the planet while you’re at it.