OK, I admit it. When I bought my car a year-and-a-half ago, comparing the fuel consumption metrics among the different models WAS part of the equation, but not the most important part.
Now, with gas lines forming in my own little town and people putting summer trips to New Jersey's favorite vacation destination, The Shore, on hold, I'm kinda kicking myself. At least I'm working at home, and now only log, on average, 20 miles of driving a week except when I go to the office and it's more like 120 miles. I pity the Federal Expresses and UPSes of the world who bring me all my mail-order purchases, not to mention my brother-in-law's brother, who is a diesel truck driver.
So, it was with interest I read about some smart sensor technology from Networkcar that gives a new meaning to the phrase "pimp your ride." Networkcar (a subidiary of Huges Telematics) provides a wireless in-vehicle system called Networkfleet that works in tandem with Automatic Vehicle Location technology that is enabled by the Global Positioning Satellite. The technology also links directly to the engine to gauge fuel consumption, mileage, speed (uh-oh, sorta Big Brother-ish) and idle time. By combining the specific performance information with route optimization information delivered GPS ("Avoid the George Washington Bridge at all costs, driver!"), Networkcar believes it has an edge over other fleet management technologies.
The company has just invested in writing a green, er, white paper called "Go Green and Save Green." It looks at six different ways that fleet managers can better cope with rising fuel costs:
1. Cut back on idling.
2. Keep up with maintenance proactively, rather than reactively.
3. Discourage speeding.
4. Eliminating unauthorized vehicle usage.
5. Picking the best routes.
6. Keeping track of emissions performance.
The full white paper (yes, you have to register so that they can collect your name) is found at this link.