DriveGain iPhone app badgers you to drive better, saves petrol

DriveGain for the iPhone claims to be able to save you cash, smooth out your technique and save you petrol and reduce pollution in one fell swoop.

Do you fail behind the wheel? Does your car jerk around like an over-caffeinated journalist on a deadline? Never quite sure what gear you're supposed to be in at any given time? There's an app for that. DriveGain for the iPhone claims to be able to save you cash, smooth out your technique, and save you petrol and reduce pollution in one fell swoop.

The app is simplicity itself. You enter the make and model of your car into a database of 8,400 European (and 8,500 US) cars, mount the iPhone to a cradle (or duct tape if you're cheap) and start driving around.

DriveGain then uses your iPhone's GPS module to determine how fast you're going, whether you're accelerating or braking too quickly and your average speed. It then uses this information to suggest which gear you should be driving in and the recommended cruising speed for optimum fuel efficiency. It also tells you how smoothly you're driving.

DriveGain's makers claim that by following the app's instructions, users can improve fuel economy by between 11 and 25 per cent. Based on DriveGain's assumed UK annual mileage and fuel price averages, this works out to be an average fuel saving of £170 per year and 350kg less CO2 emitted.

This isn't the first time we've seen a device geared towards saving you petrol. Back in September we tested the Vexia Econav 480 , which offered similar functionality alongside navigation features. It had its uses, but the audible gear recommendations became annoying after prolonged use. Having a machine hollering gear numbers at you as you drive is like having the Terminator give you a driving lesson. It might save you money, but it'll drive you nuts.

DriveGain is available to buy now on iTunes for £3.99. If you're an Android user, don't forget to check out our best Android apps for cars feature.

 

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