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Smartphone App Tracks How Drivers Use Their Cars

Startup company’s program helps drivers determine what kind of vehicle works for them.

by on Jul.27, 2010

A new iPhone app will track your driving and tell you if you're a candidate for a battery car.

With all of the advanced hybrid, plug-in hybrid, extended-range electric and electric vehicles, there should be something to help buyers decide which vehicle is right for them. Now there is.

Virtual Vehicle Co., VEVCo. for short, a startup company that grew out of a project at the University of California Berkeley, has developed a smartphone app that can monitor their driving habits to see if one of the many forms of electric vehicles coming to market might work for them.

The app, called Virtual Test Drive, tracks the way you drive including distances driven, how quickly you accelerate, as well as terrain. Information is sent securely to VEVCo.’s servers, where it automatically creates a driver profile. That profile can help drivers learn to drive more efficiently and decide whether they should buy a pure electric vehicle, extended-range electric or a high-efficiency gasoline vehicle.

VEVCo. says the data it collects will have other uses, as well. Analysts will aggregate the data to show city planners where to build vehicle charging stations.

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But the information will also be used for location-based advertising and other marketing. It could also help motorists change their driving habits, reduce fuel usage, improve tollway operations and reduce emissions.

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