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Honda's Eco Assist system

The Eco Assist system used in the 2010 Honda Insight is designed to help drivers improve their fuel efficiency by learning how to get the most from the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) technology.

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The Eco Assist system used in the 2010 Honda Insight is designed to help drivers improve their fuel efficiency by learning how to get the most from the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) technology.

This information is relayed to the driver in two ways.

Firstly, when the driver is light on the gas, the speed readout on the upper tier of the instrument panel has a band of blue under harder acceleration. As the driving becomes more moderate, the band changes to a blue/green. When holding a set speed or driving with a light foot on the gas, the band turns green.

With practice, the driver can operate most of the time in the green mode because it helps develop fuel-wise driving habits.

The second aid is the Eco Score that is one facet of the Multi-Information Display (MID) located at the centre of the instrument panel lower tier.

It uses a number of tree “leaves” to depict the level of responsible driving performance. The more leaves, the better you are. At the same time, a bar below the leaves extends to the left or right that tracks fuel use/battery regeneration. The longer the bar is to the right, the harder the acceleration and more gasoline consumed. The longer the bar is to the left, the more regenerative braking is being utilized. The harder you brake, the more energy is returned to the battery pack which, in turns, provides more electric power to assist the engine.

Because the colour band is directly in the driver’s view ahead, it is easy to see. The secret to getting a high score is simply to stay in the green.

When the driver turns off the ignition, the leaves at the top show the environmental score for the driving cycle just completed. At the same time, a horizontal bar along the lower part of the display gives the cumulative lifetime score.

A driver who excels, and it’s not that hard to do, is “rewarded” with a little trophy on the MID screen.

Lastly, the driver can cycle through the MID for other information like instant fuel consumption readout with graph, range to empty, average speed, elapsed time, power flow to and from the battery/engine or it can be blanked out. When the Insight ignition is turned out, it returns to the last Eco Score setting.

There is also a switch on the steering wheel that turns the MID on and off.

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