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Saving fuel with fake engine noises; what’s Ford thinking?

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Saving fuel through the use of fake engine noises sounds a bit silly, but Ford has recently filed a patent in hope of doing just that, Autoguide reports.

The automaker believes that increasing the noise level of certain engines will encourage drivers to change their habits behind the wheel. They would be less inclined to hammer the gas pedal, thus improving fuel economy.

With the 1.0L EcoBoost engine, for instance, Ford has found that many drivers “shift by ear” instead of watching the tachometer. Since this smaller mill produces less noise, ideal shift points are being missed, and owners are not taking advantage of its big fuel economy potential. 

The patent-pending system will therefore make the engine sound larger with artificial noises in hopes that drivers shift sooner. As you’ve likely guessed, Ford believes it will be most beneficial on its 2- and 3-cylinder turbocharged engines with manual transmissions.