I was at the gas station filling up my car, when I realized I haven’t calculated miles per gallon in a long time. Granted the BMW I drive keeps it’s own calculation that can be viewed at any point in time while driving. This makes it a much more usable system, as opposed to waiting to fill up on gas to know what that magical number turns up to be.
But as I was watching the dial on the pump scroll through the number of gallons that were being poured into my car, I thought about the other number scrolling right next to the gallons, the dollars. The cost of gas in a given period may be just as important or more important to most people, than the number of gallons used for a distance of travel.
Perhaps if we new the cost of a trip, we’d be more conscience and therefore cautious of the extent of our travels. We might conserve our gas, because we would be conserving our money.
Now maybe this is something that has been thought of before, and maybe it even exists. The only reason I can see why it doesn’t exist is because it may cause oil companies to loose money as we are more aware of, and become more frugal of our costs.
I think vehicles could be equipped with a cost per mile function in their computers. Now granted gas costs change rapidly and thus would require the user to manually change the gas price in the cars computer system, but this could be done at the time of filling up. Better yet, cars could pick up a wireless signal from gas stations, which would import the current gas prices into the vehicles computer system.
The largest advantage to such a system, would be to enhance the trip meter that keeps tracks of the number of miles driven for a given period defined by the driver, by also tracking the cost of that trip.
You could see that driving to get coffee adds an additional cost on top of the cost of the coffee. Suddenly being aware of your expenses for driving might lead to trying to better conserve gas (read: your money).
You’ll decide if it is really worth making special trips for certain things now knowing your actual travel expenses.
Now we all know this is an easy thing to calculate and could be done by most people if they really wanted, but making it an automated feature as part of car computers will put the idea to actual use. Most people are too lazy to manually do this, just as most of us don’t routinely calculate our mpgs.