Published on July 23rd, 2010 | by Nick Chambers0
New Toyota MPG Initiative: "Drive Like You've Got a Glass of Water on Your Dash"
As part of a new campaign launched by Toyota of Sweden, the company is asking all drivers, regardless of their allegiance to the Toyota brand, to imagine that they have a cup of water on their dashboard when driving. In so doing, Toyota says you can lower your fuel consumption by 10%.
Called the “Glass of Water” initiative, the idea is to make saving fuel fun by turning it into a game. Although Toyota doesn’t recommend putting an actual glass of water on your dash (“spilling water on your dashboard can of course be unsafe,” they say), you can either imagine a glass of water on your dash (seems rather impractical) or you can download their iPhone app that simulates a glass of water. The Glass of Water iPhone app uses the iPhone’s accelerometer to measure your driving style and simulates the effect it has on a glass of water. The iPhone app can measure your speed, your distance traveled, and calculates how much water you’ve spilled while driving. The iPhone app results are automatically uploaded to the “A Glass of Water” website and compared to others.
Toyota Sweden says that, although the company’s ultimate goal is to build cars that have no impact on the environment, there are clearly ways we can all take steps to minimize our cars’ impact on the environment without any change in technology. Over the last few years we’ve seen plenty of initiatives like this crop up, including the Auto Alliance’s EcoDriving campaign, but this is the first one that has such a visual appeal to it. Sure, it’s a little wonky, but if it works, even for a small percentage of drivers, then it is totally worth it.