Technology can be used to predict driver patterns and maximize the efficiency of the powertrain in accordance with routes.

Big Brother is here...and he's out to help make your driving more fuel-efficient.

Ford is working on a new technology that would link a Google application, the Google Prediction API, with on-board smart systems that will help analyze driver patterns and use that information to make driving more energy-efficient.

Google Prediction API uses cloud computing to provide greater computational power to collect information and use the data for real-time predictive actions.

The technology can optimize battery-use in a plug-in hybrid vehicle so that the computer can plot at what point on a route it is best to charge or discharge the battery. The technology would use historical driving data to determine where the driver is headed or ask the driver where he is going.

"Anticipating the driver's destination is just one way that Ford is investigating predicting driver behavior," said McGee of Ford Research and Innovation. "This information can ultimately be used to optimize vehicle performance attributes such as fuel efficiency and driveability."

Ford currently uses cloud-based services through Ford SYNC but only for infotainment, navigation and real-time traffic data. The automaker hopes expanding the scope of how information is used can lead to squeezing even more fuel efficiency from hybrid technology than is currently possible.

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