Ford is to fit technology that advises van drivers how to operate more efficiently from later this year.

The firm says its EcoGuide, which integrates with onboard satnav, shows drivers when to slow down and change gears based on situations ahead and even out of sight, such as junctions, speed limits and hills.

According to Ford, this helps encourage a smoother driving style, potentially cutting fuel bills by as much as 12%.

In addition, the EcoGuide can provide drivers with feedback on their driving efficiency via a ‘halo’ around the digital speed read-out, based on analysis of acceleration, braking, cruising and gearshift patterns.

The halo expands as the driver adopts more efficient driving habits, and a report can be viewed at the end of each trip.

The technology will first be introduced to the Transit, Transit Custom and Tourneo Custom from the middle of this year.

Ford’s Transit global chief programme engineer Michael McDonagh said: “Everyone has experienced occasions when we have to brake suddenly if a bend is tighter than expected, only to speed up again afterwards. EcoGuide will help avoid this, saving drivers fuel, time and stress.”