The German automaker is exploring virtually every alternate fuel option on the planet. Earlier this month, we drove Audi cars powered by ethanol, clean natural gas, a hybrid setup and clean diesel (hydrogen will eventually be a part of the program as well). But if biofuel and hybrid cars are a short-term solution and hydrogen is the future, Audi’s latest innovation is for the here and now.
Eco Trainer is an energy conservation technology that can be fitted on existing cars. Audi has invested heavily in it, but it’s such an obvious move that we’re surprised more automakers haven’t done it before. At the heart of the system is a computer that makes something of an interactive game out of efficiency. A display mounted in the instrument cluster shows your top three fuel-consuming accessories—and the fuel you can save by cutting off each one. Eco Trainer also offer tips based on current conditions, such as advising you to close open windows that create unnecessary drag at high speeds. Every five minutes, the system actually gives you a grade detailing your performance in each area of resource conservation—cool. An animated LCD aura, called power glow, shows how “happy” the car is, in terms of efficiency, with a five-point scale and a power glow function changing color from blue (happy) to red (you’re a gas hog, man). And like systems we’ve seen in the past, the aura will remind you the correct gear for your driving.
Source: Popular Mechanics