PLYMOUTH, Mich., January 13, 2009 – Officials at Johnson Controls today announced that the company will supply the all-new SmartGauge with EcoGuide product for vehicles produced by Ford Motor Company. This innovative, reconfigurable instrument cluster provides real-time information to help coach drivers to achieve maximum fuel efficiency. Johnson Controls helped develop the new, first-of-its-kind product and soon will manufacture it for 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrid sedans. These vehicles will arrive in Ford and Mercury dealerships by this Spring.
The SmartGauge adds two reconfigurable liquid crystal display (LCD) screens, with one on each side of the center-mounted analog speedometer gauge, which is highlighted in an ice-blue halo. The 4.3-inch color thin-film transistor (TFT) LCD displays offer rich arrays of graphics and animation. EcoGuide uses a multi-layered approach to help a driver attain maximum fuel efficiency for the hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV).
Upon entering the vehicle, the color displays present “wake-up” and “introduction” screens to welcome a driver and begin the driving experience. The product contains a “Dealer Demonstration” mode to aid the education of potential customers by automakers, and a “Tutorial” mode to assist vehicle owners in daily driving.
The cluster is easy to navigate via ergonomic switches located on the vehicle’s steering wheel. Drivers can customize their instrument cluster by choosing from four data screens to attain the information level desired while operating their vehicle. The options for Ford’s upcoming hybrid models are: Inform, which includes fuel-level and battery-charge status; Enlighten, which adds electric-vehicle-mode indicator and tachometer; Engage, which adds engine-output power and battery-output power; and Empower, which adds power to wheels, engine pull-up threshold and accessory power consumption.
All levels show instant fuel economy, fuel economy history, odometer readings, engine coolant temperature, what gear the car is in and trip data, including trip fuel economy, time-elapsed fuel economy and miles to empty. The four levels of information can be customized to fit each driver’s needs or situation.
The vehicle’s long-term fuel efficiency can be displayed two ways – either as a traditional chart or using an innovative display that shows “growing leaves and vines” on the right side of the cluster. The more efficient a driver is, the more lush, green and beautiful the leaves and vines, creating a visual reward for the individual’s efforts.
“This instrument cluster created for Ford’s SmartGauge with EcoGuide is innovative in appearance and functionality, and provides consumers with the necessary real-time information to operate their hybrid vehicles much more efficiently,” said Paul Lambert, vice president and general manager, Electronics for Johnson Controls. “Drivers also gain the ability to customize a variety of information on their instrument clusters and can see as much – or as little – information as they need during different driving periods and situations.”
Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) is the global leader that brings ingenuity to the places where people live, work and travel. By integrating technologies, products and services, we create smart environments that redefine the relationships between people and their surroundings. Our team of 140,000 employees creates a more comfortable, safe and sustainable world through our products and services for more than 200 million vehicles, 12 million homes and one million commercial buildings. For additional information, please visit http://www.johnsoncontrols.com.