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Vehicle: Car: Indicator: Fluid
PURR   (+5, -1)  [vote for, against]
Petrol Utilization Rate Responder

Whereas: the average US driver puts 20-30 miles/day on his or her automobile, likely atop all national marks.
Whereas: distracted drivers cause the most crashes not attributable to mechanical failure, excessive speed, or ignorance.
Whereas: a combination of heads-up display and audible signal provides greater safety than other metrics used as automotive indicators.

I propose that fuel lines be equipped with flow sensors that pipe a harmonically balanced audible tone into an auto's sound system. The operator, hearing a responder tone regulated by the flow of fuel, now may readily adjust the vehicle's speed to a more economical rate of travel.

I envision this device first calibrated for factory preset tone levels, with key changes engineered for peak performance at the design level. No doubt, though, modders would have a field day tweaking their systems for more advantageous use of accessories.
-- reensure, Aug 16 2005

My ears are ringing.
-- bristolz, Aug 16 2005

GURR, surely?
-- DrCurry, Aug 16 2005

-- phoenix, Aug 16 2005

//a more economical rate of travel//? The tone is regulated only by the flow rate of fuel, meaning it will signal the driver to ease off the flow until idle, which is the least economical rate of travel. Factor speed in and I’ll buy one.
-- Shz, Aug 17 2005

So true, [Shz]. A fair share of modern cars carry a cruise control (spinning magnets) that smooth wheel speed readings to an average set speed, I envision PURR interlinked to the cruise control or something similar. A question I have is, will this show greater efficiency with gear ranging, as in the case of running at speed near the transmission's overdrive engage speed. I feel this would sound a bit like two jaybirds in heat.
-- reensure, Aug 17 2005

At times it may be more economical to drive faster. I’m OK with that. Perhaps it should be silent during acceleration / shifting? Nah, I want to hear it. With a manual transmission it would indicate (or teach) the best time to shift. + for including speed.

Hmmm, I wonder how it would do with a continuously variable transmission.
-- Shz, Aug 17 2005

Citroen (a company which employed a number of halfbakers in it's design studio) used to put 'econometers' in their cars which did just this but displayed it using an led segment meter. I had a very early version which had just one orange light for medium fuel use and one red light for heavy fuel use. Unfortunately the car (a GSA) had such a pathetic power to weight ratio that you needed all lights on to pull away / overtake / move at all.
-- wagster, Aug 17 2005

Ha. [wagster]. That's pretty damn funny.

I'm thinking, okay -- the wheels are turning faster and fuel consumption is rising. That produces one sound, or a sound in one ear, whatever. At some point vehicle inertia begins to overtake the acceleration and wheels are turning faster but fuel flow stabilizes with engine RPM. The responder sound changes, or moves to the other ear, whatever. Does the opposite effect happen during compression braking as engine compression rises and wheel speed slows?
-- reensure, Aug 17 2005

random, halfbakery