Now this is really cool in a geeky sort of way: Garmin will soon offer EcoRoutes ESP, an optional attachment that you connect to your car's diagnostics port, making it so a selectable screen full of gauges will show up on your Garmin Nuvi GPS screen.
This'll let you keep tabs on lots of things your car is doing that you normally wouldn't be able to see, such as real-time fuel economy, a tachometer, throttle position, intake manifold pressure, coolant temperature, intake air temperature, and emissions. You'll be able to select which gauges appear on the screen, and even set alerts for each one.
Most cars built since 1996 have an onboard diagnostics (OBD) port, and the accessory Garmin is offering is basically a Bluetooth transmitter that plugs into it. Since many Garmin GPS units can already receive Bluetooth signals to accommodate hands-free cellphone calling, they'll be able to receive this data. Neat.
We're thinking this would be tons of fun to keep an eye on when traveling on a ultra long road trip with 200 miles until the next turn. Or, it could be just one more accident-causing distraction. Either way, expect to see EcoRoutes ESP on display at the upcoming CES 2010 in January.
UPDATE: Now there's a price announced for this attachment: $149.99, and it might "possibly be available by the end of the year." Take a look at screenshot of the interface: