MyCarma logs your personal drive cycle using an app on your smartphone. After 7 days the drive cycle is fed into software models of the three new vehicles you are most interested in. At that point the MyCarma servers simulate those vehicles on your drive cycle (kind of like those vehicles were driven behind you for the week you had the app logging) and estimates your personal fuel economy on those vehicles. The associated fuel savings are calculated for your specific drive cycle.
- The most important decision you make related to fuel economy is the car you buy. You can change your driving habits, but at the end of the day, your best opportunity to save gas is to select the most fuel efficient vehicle that matches your needs. The initial MyCarma results have shown that by providing personal fuel economy labels and the corresponding gas savings estimate there is a notable increase in the average fuel efficiency of the purchased vehicle. Car buyers discount the fuel economy values in generic fuel economy labels as they recognize that those values are generally not reflective of how they drive. The result is a high risk-premium being placed on fuel savings, resulting in significantly less uptake of fuel efficient technologies than simple economics would estimate. The theory behind this has been well documented by Dr. David Greene at ORNL.
- Supporting CAFE. Fuel efficiency increases are mandated, but without customer education and deploying easy and simple methods to demonstrate the fuel savings of these vehicles there will be substantial push-back from car buyers due to the increase in the purchase price of the vehicle. MyCarma does this.
- Critical for Plug-In Vehicles (and the "EV Everywhere" Grand Challenge) . The benefit of the MyCarma personal fuel economy label is especially obvious when looking at plug-in vehicles. The labels for PHEVs or EREVs are very difficult to interpret as they provide gasoline and electric numbers. The average user has little/no idea on how to translate that into an mpge and fuel savings value for them. MyCarma makes this simple.
Apps for Vehicles Challenge
This app was submitted to the Apps for Vehicles Challenge. It was awarded the Grand Prize - Popular Choice.