Gamification of Petrol



My wife has been saying that ever since moving back to Australia... we have essentially upgraded everything in our lives. Sadly, that isn't completely true... as my gadgets and computers are still the same as a few months back. Perhaps I should take it as a chance to suggest that I upgrade my electronic toys?!?

Anyway... one definite upgrade was the car. I've never had a car that was so full of buttons and displays to distract my attention! That said, I do miss the old cars... with no electronics, but that would survive an incoming EMP burst! But, I'm not one to complain... this one is quieter and much smoother than the cars that I've had before.

But it isn't a flashy car or anything like that... it is a 5 year old second-hand Kia Ceranto.. nothing really crazily over the top or anything like that (I'm crazily un-splashy when it comes to pretty much everything in my life... except maybe for my rainbow coloured laptop keyboard!).

I've always tried to be a bit careful with the way that I use cars... mostly from an environmental point of view, I fail to see the utility of lugging around mostly dead space and metal if you don't have to. Bikes, walking and public transport would be the first options if I wanted to get around. However, Australia is significantly larger... with less good infrastructure for biking and public transport. So... it appears that I'm going to be lugging around dead weight more often than I would like.... but we will see how that will play out.

I've also tried to be careful about the acceleration and harnessing momentum as much as possible, to try and limit fuel burn. However, I've never had a car that could provide feedback on exactly how much efficiency I was getting... old cars. So, I've had a crazy amount of fun with this display on our new car... the one in the centre, where it tells you how many litres of petrol per 100 kms you are achieving as an average since the last fill-up. And there is also a current efficiency with the little bar beneath that.

... the gamer in me just can't resist the challenge to try and min/max some numbers... and so, I've spent pretty all of my car driving trips trying to eke out every last bit of efficiency with rolling stops and keeping momentum and controlled accelerations. I've come to realise that there are certain sections and types of drives where I'm going to get really good efficiency (this photo being the best that I've managed...) and others where I'm going to struggle to keep it at around 7 L/100 kms.

Normally, this would be a bit of an intellectual exercise but with petrol prices at eye-watering levels... it starts to really become a real saving exercise to keep that efficiency as good as possible!

Gamification of habits can really be a great thing when done right... and in this case, petrol savings is always going to be a good thing.... either for the environment or for the hip pocket. Now... I wonder why there are still so many people on the roads that drive like they enjoy burning money?


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I am a Musician (Violinist/Violist) specialising in Early Music living in The Netherlands. I have a background in Mathematics and Physics due to an earlier tertiary level study... and so, I'm still quite interested in Science and Technology related stuff!

The Glamorous Life of a Musician!
The Glamorous Life of a Musician!

Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life! I'm a Violinist and doing what I love is often interestingly contrasted with the reality of getting to do what I love...

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