Imagine a driving game where you are rewarded for turning the air-conditioning off, for riding slowly instead of aggressively throttling and burning tires on the tarmac. Where the maps are actual traffic simulations with 3-minute long traffic jams, where a 100 cc Hero Splendor is more likely to feature on the leaderboard than a Ferrari.
Hypermiling is a science and an art, and this game could be a great learning sim for eco-conscious driving. There are hundreds of hypermiling tricks, so the gameplay and physics involved could be quite enlightening and challenging.
How hard and expensive would it be to make a cross-platform video-game on a Unity 3D engine? 3D art assets to mimic the Indian locale? Coding the physics calculations to simulate fuel consumption? What kind of a time-frame and budget would it require? I’m willing to put in some seed money to get the conceptual art done for it. After that, I hope to pitch a Kickstarter project to raise funds, the end result of which would be a cross-platform game that works on most devices.
This could also be a potential advertising-supported game (ideally from an Indian auto company) – so that’s a plan B, but the conceptual artwork comes first! Do send me a quote on twitter @slashgod if this sounds like a exciting idea that you want to work on.
After doing some research, I infer that the best consumer-end hypermiling sim is likely to be Gran Turismo 4 Prius Trial Version, which was created by Sony and Toyota for the Japanese market for the PS2 about a decade ago. Let me know if you can dig up a copy.
Update 2: Check out the BP Ultimate FEC Game, it’s browser based, not much to speak of in terms of gameplay, but effective at explaining hypermiling concepts.
Some of the key principles of Eco-Driving are:
• Maintain engine speeds between 1200 — 3000 rotations per minute (RPM);
• Change to higher gears between 2000 — 2500 RPM, and drive in top gears at lower speeds — the so-called “50 in 4th gear” driving style;
• Try to anticipate more to avoid strong accelerations, decelerations, overtaking or aggressive driving;
• Driving at speed limits and avoiding high speeds;
• Add 10% to standard tyre pressure;
• Avoid using the air condition, or set at temperatures above 21Â°C;
• Use your bike for short trips — starting your car when it is ‘cold’ uses 300% more fuel.”
via: Ecodrive.org –
1. Anticipate Traffic Flow
Read the road as far ahead as possible and anticipate the flow of traffic. Act instead of react – increase your scope of action with an appropriate distance between vehicles to use momentum (an increased safety distance equivalent of about 3 seconds to the car in front optimises the options to balance speed fluctuations in traffic flow – enabling steady driving with constant speed).
2. Maintain a steady speed at low RPM
Drive smoothly, using the highest possible gear at low RPM.
3. Shift up early
Shift to higher gear at approximately 2.000 RPM.
Consider the traffic situation, safety needs and vehicle specifics.
4. Check tyre pressures frequently at least once a month and before driving at high speed
Keep tyres properly inflated as low tyre pressure is a safety risk and wastes fuel. For correct tyre pressure (acc. To loading, highest pressure and speed driven), check with car’s manual.
5. Consider any extra energy required costs fuel and money
Use air conditioning and electrical equipment wisely and switch it off if not needed. Electrical energy is converted from extra fuel burnt in a combustion engine, so electrical equipment doesn’t work “for free” – it always costs extra energy and money.
Avoid dead weight and aerodynamic drag.