By Drew Johnson
Thursday, Nov 8th, 2012 @ 4:24 pm
 

Ford has developed a new technology that promises to keep its latest crop of plug-in hybrid vehicles in electric mode for longer. Dubbed EV+, the new system actually learns frequently visited locations, allowing the hybrid system to remain in electric mode until the driver's final destination is reached.

Working in tandem with the vehicle's GPS, EV+ has the ability to learn frequently visited locations, such as work, home or the local store. Once the systems learns those patterns, EV+ can recognize when a driver is nearing one of those frequent stops and keep the vehicle in EV mode rather than switching on the gas engine for an unnecessary charge.

"We already have a GPS unit in every Ford with SYNC, so really it was just a matter of tapping into that the right way," said Kevin Layden, Ford director of Electrification Programs and Engineering. "This is one of the first examples of how we're looking to make the car smarter, by leveraging on board data to provide features and services that add value to the driving experience."

Ford says the system typically kicks in when a vehicle is within about 200 meters of a frequently visited destination.

For those worried about being tracked by such a system, Ford says EV+ can be disabled and the data erased at the push of a button.