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Auto 'eco' nav systems to bloom

Driving around Boston on Route 128, rather than traveling through the city on the Southeast Expressway, may not just save you time but be more environmentally friendly as well with fewer emissions.

Worry over such environmental impact of cars is spurring growth in "eco-assist" systems, with slightly more than one-third of all automobiles sold worldwide in 2020 expected to integrate "eco-routing" systems—up from less than a miniscule 1% now, according to industry analyst firm iSuppli.

Eco-assist features are designed to achieve greater fuel efficiency. Such tools range from an indicator on the instrument cluster to maximize miles per gallon, to sophisticated eco-routing functions that employ real-time traffic or roadway data to suggest the most efficient path to a destination based on current driving conditions—thus taking the long way around Bean Town (ever notice that no one who lives here calls it that!).

"Perhaps the factor with the greatest potential influence on the relevance of eco-assist is consumer acceptance. Governments can legislate and automakers can innovate, but ultimately it falls to the consumer to validate the ecological initiatives made by these two groups and decide if eco-assist is, indeed, important,” say iSuppli's Jeremy Carson.

Learn more about eco-assist here.

(Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/@rickdemeis)

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