Recently Daniel Appleman (old-school Windows programmer, heheh, I never thought I’d say that about him) gave me a ride in his new Prius. He showed me how the car was training him to drive slower: it was like driving a video game. On the dashboard was a guage which showed how much gas the car was using. Speed up, gas milage went down. Drive slower, it goes up.
This display inside Prius’s and other cars, along with an increased focus on saving fuel for money reasons and environmental reasons, is leading to a new kind of driver behavior: hypermiling. Matt Kelly has an interesting podcast with several guys who hypermile.