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 [TOPIC] Garmin ecoRoute update for nüvis - testing

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
grandknight Posted - 07 janv. 2009 : 15:09:17

Updated 20090120 - EcoRoute update available on the nüvi 7x5, >> first comments << on page 2, Some screen shots by SergZak

ecoRoute™ from Garmin® Helps Drivers Save Gas and Money Through Fuel-Efficient Paths, Smarter Driving Habits

LAS VEGAS, Nev./January 7, 2009/Business Wire — Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, today introduced ecoRoute, a free software update that helps drivers conserve money and fuel, easing growing pressures on personal budgets and the environment. ecoRoute, which suggests fuel-efficient navigation, was announced in conjunction with the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, and will be on display at the Garmin booth (South Hall 4, #35832).

“Many of the biggest challenges currently facing people around the world involve the economy and the environment,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “Using ecoRoute on your Garmin nüvi® helps you be a smarter driver at a time when everyone is trying to make their paychecks and their gas tanks go the extra mile. As the global leader in satellite navigation, we embrace the opportunity to be the leader in fuel-efficient, eco-friendly navigation.”

Garmin just announced a software update for nuvi's as part of the releases at the Consumers Electronics Show in Los Vegas. At this time the only info available is a press release The web pag the press release referrs to is not responing at this time.
35   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
gpspassion Posted - 05 janv. 2010 : 23:13:28
Here comes the HD version : Garmin® ecoRoute™ hd via OBD II connector !
gpspassion Posted - 05 févr. 2009 : 23:15:44
Yes, the point of the "Challenge" beats me too! The most useful/enlightening feature so far has been the cost estimate of a trip as seen in the main dashboard screen.
vincentmckenzie Posted - 05 févr. 2009 : 23:11:57
Well here's my 2 cents worth about ecoRoute. I'm using a 255WT with 2009 City Navigator maps, latest updates.

I travel between North East England and East Scotland relatively frequently. It's a journey of around 220 miles and usually takes around 4 hours.

When viewing the "Less Fuel" route for this same journey it chooses the most bizarre route I've ever seen. It practically hugs the coast (and all of its zig-zagging) and goes through lots of little villages on very minor roads. It added over 2 hours to the estimated journey time (a 50% increase), and 60 miles to the distance (35% or so increase). Given the nature of the roads it chose (very minor twisting turning type roads) I would imagine the actual journey time would be much greater than the estimate.

So given that in general (I know it depends on things):

* Increased engine running time (journey time) increases fuel use.
* Increased distance increases fuel use.
* Slowing down and speeding up frequently (twisting turning very minor roads with limited visibility) increases fuel use.

...and my "ecoRoute" suffered from all three of the above, how can this possibly be an economical route? I don't see any advantage in the route it chose.

Surely the normal fastest route - straight down one of the UK's biggest motorways, where you rarely have to slow down / speed up, and can travel at any speed you like (i.e. your car's most economical speed in it's most economical gear, all of the time), over a much shorter distance, would be a more economical route.

Then there's the economical driving game. As best as I can tell the score just increases the closer to a steady 50 (ish) MPH you maintained. Slowing down (gradually, or suddenly) from 50 made it reduce its score. Travelling faster than 50 made it reduce it's score. Driving style seemed to make no difference whatsoever. If I accelerated gently to 50MPH it arrived at about 95 within a minute or so. If I floored it and got to 50 as fast as I could, it seemed to get to 95 faster. If I slammed on the breaks or slowed down gradually it dropped to 0 by the time I'd stopped either way. Did I miss something here? Or is it just a measure of how close to 50MPH you're travelling? My speedometer tells me that!
jp10558 Posted - 03 févr. 2009 : 00:07:47
Hmm, unnecessary for me, I already have a scangauge.
bluzark Posted - 27 janv. 2009 : 18:03:21
just for the record..
it also creates a new folder Reports in your nuvi's root.
one csv (mileage.csv) file containing the following fields, Date (MM-DD-YYYY),Start Time,Origin Longitude,Origin Latitude,Destination Longitude,Destination Latitude,Origin,Destination,Distance (km), Time (min), Fuel Economy (l/100km), Fuel Cost (EUR), Carbon Footprint (kg).
and a file called scores.bin.
gpspassion Posted - 27 janv. 2009 : 03:03:46
Dind yourself steppin' on the gas do you? Will be taking a longer trip on Wednesday so I'll give a good try out!
bluzark Posted - 26 janv. 2009 : 17:59:47
well it seems like i am not a very ecological drive.
gpspassion Posted - 25 janv. 2009 : 12:28:04
Most likely not...
jrackley Posted - 25 janv. 2009 : 03:29:04
Any idea if Garmin will offer this "upgrade" for the Nuvi 880?
north dakota weatherman Posted - 23 janv. 2009 : 19:40:00
I downloaded ECOROUTE last night, and with what little time I have spent with it I have noticed a couple things.
1) It DID give me a slightly different route on the way home than it did before, but it was the same route my old Tomtom 720 would always pick when set at "shortest route". The "shortest route" on my garmin 255w is 4 blocks different than "less fuel". The less fuel route was the same as the "fastest" route on a Magellan 4000. I realize that sounds weird, but thats what it was.
2)I really like the fuel calculations. I don't know how accurate it is, but it's nice to see what it costs to drive somewhere. I did find myself looking at the unit more when the driving challenge was turned on. I'm not sure that's a good idea for me as I live in North Dakota and with the really lousy winter we're having all the snow is making the streets a lot narrower and you really need to pay attention.
Bottom line, from the little I have used it, I applaud Garmin for making this available on a unit that was already purchased.
FourOhFour Posted - 22 janv. 2009 : 03:36:03
I'm not sure ecoRoute is quite ready...

(I wish.)
caryrae Posted - 21 janv. 2009 : 21:15:00
Pretty neat how it will tell you about how much your gas will cost for your trip.

I tried a route with fasted time and it says
Distance:318.4 mi
Time: 4 hrs 52 mins
Feul Cost: $30.76

with less fuel selected it says
Distance: 317.7
Time: 4 hrs 58 mins
Fuel Cost: $30.65

But when I choose Shortest distance it says
Distance: 311.8
Time: 5 hrs 12 mins
Fuel cost: $29.82
NanaimoRick Posted - 21 janv. 2009 : 18:22:04
Originally posted by Dewi

[quote]Hmm, in concept -- if not also in elements of design -- it seems very much a copy of Ford's SmartGauge on their hybrids.

That's possible as, if I recall correctly, Garmin was supplying a "Ford" model GPS to them at one time a year or 2 ago. Could be an ongoing relationship.
grandknight Posted - 21 janv. 2009 : 17:33:54
This looks really interesting. I hope Garmin chooses to include this in a future firmware update for the Nuvi 7x0 series. One other thought, this is a really good application for a Bluetooth interface to your vehicle's electronics. Via Bluetooth the car could send dynamic updates of fuel economy and tank fill-ups to the Nuvi. Maybe some day :-)
Dewi Posted - 21 janv. 2009 : 15:12:17
Edit: Note the new button/leaf icon with the 0 (zero) inside in the shot below...this is enabled when you're on a Driving Challenge. The number will change from 0-100 (100 being best) depending on your Driving Challenge score. The leaf has three color levels (red, yellow & green) which also indicates how economically you're driving.
Hmm, in concept -- if not also in elements of design -- it seems very much a copy of Ford's SmartGauge on their hybrids.
gpspassion Posted - 21 janv. 2009 : 13:44:57
Thanks for posting the screenshots, added them to the first message, looks a pretty comprehensive setup, i.e. not juste a "marketing gadget" ;-)
Natwork Posted - 21 janv. 2009 : 02:35:12
The firmware 4.8 available today for Nuvi 2x5 series through WebUpdater includes ecoRoute™. I just updated it.
SergZak Posted - 21 janv. 2009 : 01:23:21
Some first observations of ecoRoute:

ecoRoute was added as a feature update to the nuvi 7x5 series units via the v3.00 unit software update. It has also been released for the nuvi 2x5 series with the v4.8 unit software update.

It's a pretty full featured fuel mileage calculator where you input your vehicle's fuel mileage (city/highway), type of fuel (unleaded/diesel/etc), price and other parameters. The fuel price can either be manually entered or downloaded via MSN Direct's fuel prices. If you're using the MSN data, only the price of the lowest grade fuel is used. If you use mid-grade or premium fuel you'll need to enter those fuel prices manually. One of the trip computer's data fields (bottom left which previously displayed Total Time) has now been changed to show Overall Fuel Cost.

Other features include a Driving Challenge game where you try and get as close to a score of 100 points which are calculated using various parameters of the way you drive like acceleration, deceleration, & speed.

As far as calculating routes using ecoRoute, there is now a Less Fuel option in the Route Preferences. I'm assuming this uses the various parameters you've entered in the ecoRoute settings to optimize your route.

Looks pretty interesting...

Some screen shots

Edit: Note the new button/leaf icon with the 0 (zero) inside in the shot below...this is enabled when you're on a Driving Challenge. The number will change from 0-100 (100 being best) depending on your Driving Challenge score. The leaf has three color levels (red, yellow & green) which also indicates how economically you're driving. Pressing the button takes you to the Driving Challenge score screen (bottom shot) where you also have the option to stop your Challenge.

bluzark Posted - 10 janv. 2009 : 16:58:13
shortest distance / fastest time works quiet well for me
depending on how long the trip will be. i prefer shortest distance from time tot time. because shortest distance uses more local shortcuts which barely have any speed cameras or radar control.
i wonder what ecoroute will bring for my 255wt
danham Posted - 09 janv. 2009 : 16:11:24
@ IsLNdbOi:

My experience is that "shortest" produces the least satisfactory routes.

You won't see the difference unless there are enough alternate routes available. On the cross-country Vespa trek I participated in a few months ago, my 760 would choose a different route from the rural back roads the event used only if an interstate or numbered highway was nearby as a choice. I was mostly using pre-planned routes, but when I went on a rescue mission (fuel, breakdowns), I was using the routing software set to "fastest."

And no, nuvis do not "learn" any routing. It's a brand new calculation each time. They do learn your driving pace relative to coded speed limits, however. That is used strictly to display ETA.

synomenon Posted - 09 janv. 2009 : 06:05:38
The shortest distance / fastest time options don't really seem to make a difference to me. Does the Nuvi 765t learn and improve over time?

Regarding the most efficient speed, with my 2009 5-door Yaris hatchback I get the best fuel economy when going around 55mph.
slick_gps Posted - 08 janv. 2009 : 20:32:54
I've compared Magellan 4350's routing for fastest, shortest, and economical calculations. The economical almost always was the same as fastest.
vincentmckenzie Posted - 08 janv. 2009 : 18:53:14
Originally posted by Dropout

Highway speeds are not always the most efficient. Something closer to 50MPH is.

This is a common misconception. The often quoted figure of 50MPH being the "most efficient" originates from a study in 1973. This figure is only true for the make/model of vehicle they used for this test, when travelling at a constant speed on a rolling road simulating a flat surface. The best speed for fuel economy for your vehicle will depend on its particular make and model, and your own driving style. Aggressive drivers use way more fuel. Age of vehicle, road and weather conditions, etc, also play a part.

Economy is poor at low speeds due to the need to use lower gear ratios. Friction is the dominating factor at low speeds. So we travel at higher speeds...

Assuming you're in the highest (usually most economical) gear, most energy is lost at higher speeds (above 30mph or so) overcoming air resistance. This increases roughly with the cube of the speed. Thus, in terms of air resistance alone, driving at 65 requires around 3x the fuel compared to driving at 45mph.

The average driver can save 20% of their fuel just by adopting more gentle driving practices. Slow acceleration, light breaking, etc. Thus, unless you change your average speed by around 20MPH, you're better off just trying to be a better driver.

Modern cars perform better at higher speeds than cars from 40 years ago. The most recent large study of this kind was done in 1997. This study showed that some cars performed better at 65 than at 45 mph. All cars showed decreasing fuel economy beyond 65 mph. In general, these days, 55MPH is a good rule of thumb if you're in a 10 year old car. 60MPH if you're in a newer car that boasts about being economical and is more aerodynamic.

I imagine the ecoRoute software will try to use roads that have fewer stops/starts by avoiding junctions, tolls booths, etc, fewer twists and turns, fewer hills, as all of these mess up your fuel economy.
SergZak Posted - 08 janv. 2009 : 17:36:59
Looks like it will only be released for the 2x5 and 7x5 series in February.
The following products are compatible with ecoRoute:
nüvi® 205-series
nüvi® 705-series
NanaimoRick Posted - 07 janv. 2009 : 23:52:28
Probably any insight would be speculation at this point as it was just announced today.
grandknight Posted - 07 janv. 2009 : 23:43:53
Anyone have an insight as to when Garmin is going to make this available for download, from I assume MyGarmin?
gatorguy Posted - 07 janv. 2009 : 23:38:49
I'm pretty interested to see how it's actually going to work.
"Through ecoRoute’s Fuel Report, Mileage Report and fuel-saving tips, drivers can focus on their fuel conservation even when they’re not behind the wheel. Fuel Report tracks fuel usage over time, and Mileage Report monitors mileage and fuel usage on a per-trip basis. Drivers can customize their nüvi to fit their vehicle by accessing the “vehicle profile” under ecoRoute in the tools menu."

That would seem to imply that per trip mileage logging (ala' Navigon?) might be able to benefit those business owners and salesmen among us.
danham Posted - 07 janv. 2009 : 22:41:41
Originally posted by jotne

Wonder if this take in account all the mountain in Norway.
Driving up and down uses a lot of fuel.

Nah, just "up."

Kidding aside, this does sound like marketing hype.

SergZak Posted - 07 janv. 2009 : 22:38:55
Agreed. Add some stop and go SoCal traffic into the route recipe and see how ecoLogical your route will be. But hey, at least it's supposed to be FREE!
GadgetGuy2008 Posted - 07 janv. 2009 : 22:28:16
Smoke and mirrors.

My Garmin can't even properly calculate the fastest route. How am I supposed to believe that it will actually calculate the most fuel efficient route??
jotne Posted - 07 janv. 2009 : 22:24:51
Wonder if this take in account all the mountain in Norway.
Driving up and down uses a lot of fuel.
Dropout Posted - 07 janv. 2009 : 21:57:13
I wasn't meaning to correct anything, just suggesting that when talking about highway mileage the assumption is likely an interstate in the US or a 400 series highway in Ontario.

Dewi Posted - 07 janv. 2009 : 21:29:10
Um, 50MPH (80 km/h) is a highway speed (e.g. Hwy-7, Hwy-41, Hwy-35, Hwy-37...). I'm not sure what your point of "correction" is.
Dropout Posted - 07 janv. 2009 : 18:58:26
Highway speeds are not always the most efficient. Something closer to 50MPH is. Also, an ecoRoute is likely a combination of the two. I have found that sometimes the time difference between the fastest and shortest is only 1 or 2 minutes but the distance difference is as much as 60km, and this is on a 90 minute trip.
Dewi Posted - 07 janv. 2009 : 18:18:56
The link is live now, but there's no info on which nuvis will be able to be updated yet.

I wonder how often the "ecoRoute" option will actually be different from the "Faster" option. Logic would say that getting one from A to B quickest and as close to highway speeds would be the most fuel efficient option anyway. Interesting marketing spin though.

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