The USA: eco:DRIVE Utilitarian Utopia?

It’s official—Fiat is coming to the rescue of Chrysler, and will sign on to a partnership tomorrow. The restructuring plan has involved $4 billion from the government, and still doesn’t mean Chrysler is safe from bankruptcy. But Fiat has such an eco-friendly, stylish, “car for the masses” appeal, let’s hope they have something to do with the Chrysler business model of the future.

Fiat’s little 500 is smart on gas and low on emissions, But they are savvy on technology as well. Their eco:DRIVE system makes the optimistic assumption that everyone does (or at least should) care about knowing the impact a person’s vehicle makes on the environment, and can (and should) make a change. eco:DRIVE starts with a software you can download on to your computer, which is saved to a jump drive and transferred to the car. The program then monitors your driving and gives you a “grade” out of a hundred, on acceleration, deceleration, gear changes, and speed. You can then take the information back to your computer, and make adjustments to your driving that will improve fuel economy. Talk about functionality, awareness and accountability.

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