By CarPrint, Special for USDR
A mere three months into office, the Trump administration’s assault on environmental protections is astounding. Trump is dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), defunding climate change research, working to lower vehicle emissions standards, and threatening to back out of the 2015 Paris climate change agreement. The new CarPrint app arrives as protecting the environment takes a historic hit.
The CarPrint app promotes eco-driving, a practice known to reduce fuel consumption by 10 to 20 percent without cutting back on travel. CarPrint reduces driver’s carbon footprint and it takes the boredom out of driving. The average American driver puts five tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, and US drivers spend an average of 280 hours driving annually. That’s seven full work weeks in the car!
CarPrint is like a sports app for driving and it turns driving into a game. The app tracks fuel use, speed, and distance traveled second-by-second. Drivers login to see their trip-by-trip speed profiles, charts of fuel economy at different speeds, fuel economy improvements over time, and much more. Drivers win by beating their vehicle’s fuel economy ratings for city and highway driving and, to keep it safe, only trip duration is shown on the screen while trips are in progress. Moreover, the cornerstone of eco-driving is anticipation, paying close attention to upcoming traffic signals and other vehicles. Eco-driving is a more relaxed yet focused driving style involving about a dozen tactics that anyone can learn. The trick is to keep at it and that’s what CarPrint is all about—long term changes in driver behavior.
CarPrint uses an on-board data (OBD) scanner paired with the driver’s Android or iOS mobile phone or tablet. The scanner plugs into the OBD port near the steering wheel and transmits driving data via Bluetooth to the driver’s mobile device. From there, data is uploaded to CarPrint, where numbers are crunched and shown to players. The app itself is free and drivers can buy an Android compatible scanner for $12 or pay $35 for an iOS scanner. Most drivers will recoup the cost within a month or two.
“CarPrint gives American drivers a way to fight back by reducing their own vehicle emissions,” says Scott Osberg, the app’s developer. “Not only does the app make a real difference, it gets drivers thinking about the environment – thinking about what else they can do to fight back against the outrageous Trump environmental policies.
“Truck drivers have been eco-driving for years and now many regular drivers are taking it up too,” says Osberg. “When it comes to green driving, how you drive is nearly as important as what you drive. Whether you drive a Mini, a Prius, or a Hummer, eco-driving reduces fuel use so drivers save money.”