Networkcar, a Reynolds and Reynolds company, has announced that it has been granted a patent entitled "Internet-Based Method for Determining a Vehicle's Fuel Efficiency" by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. United States patent number 6,594,579 describes a proprietary method for analyzing conventional on-board diagnostic data for determining a vehicle's fuel consumption and fuel efficiency (i.e., its miles per gallon), and then wirelessly transmitting this information to an Internet-accessible Web site. This patent also covers a proprietary method for an on-line 'calculator' that determines how much a vehicle owner is spending on fuel as well as related methods for characterizing tire pressure and fuel injector status. The company says this patent adds to Networkcar's growing patent portfolio, which currently features over 15 pending and issued patents.Using this new technology, Networkcar customers can examine their car's performance by viewing a Web page that displays changes in fuel efficiency per month. Networkcar customers can also display information over specific dates or access tables that show trends over quarterly periods. Networkcar customers can take advantage of the new features provided that their car is equipped with a special airflow sensor that permits fuel economy calculations."This patent reflects our corporate commitment to providing the most practical features to support the needs of car owners, fleets, and government agencies," said Dave Dutch, president of Networkcar. These fuel efficiency monitoring features are especially important in light of rising fuel costs."A U.S. Energy Information Administration report released June 9 shows the average retail cost for a gallon of gasoline is $1.490 -- 11 cents higher than a year ago. The average price is highest on the West Coast ($1.657) and lowest in the Gulf Coast region ($1.378). The new ability to easily identify poorly performing vehicles will allow car owners and fleets to increase fuel economy and decrease fuel costs through timely repair of problems such as incorrect tire pressure and dirty air filters. Networkcar (www.networkcar.com
) is a provider of around-the-clock services for monitoring the performance, location and security of consumer and fleet vehicles. The company features advanced performance monitoring technology and satellite-location systems that enable it to provide the most advanced solution for car maintenance and operation on the market today. Networkcar includes real-time car performance updates, Smart Roadside Assistance, stolen vehicle recovery services and Car GuardianTM, a GPS tracking feature that allows a car owner to find their car by accessing a secure web page. With Networkcar, car owners and fleets increase safety and security, save time and reduce costs with advanced preventive maintenance and early problem detection. Reynolds and Reynolds is a provider of integrated solutions that help automotive retailers manage change and improve their profitability. With 75 years of experience serving automotive retailing, Reynolds says it enables car companies and retailers to work together to build the lifetime value of their customers. The company's product, service and training solutions include a full range of retail and enterprise management systems, networking and support, e-business applications, Web services, learning and consulting services, customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, data management and integration, and leasing services. Reynolds serves more than 20,000 customers. They comprise 90 percent of the automotive retailers and virtually all car companies doing business in North America. Its CRM consulting practices span approximately 15 countries around the world.