Ford's New Dashboard Design

Behold a new prototype dashboard by Ford in collaboration with Smart Design (the designer for the super-easy-to-use Flip camcorder) for their new breed of "green" cars.

The dashboard gives drivers a "wealth of info" without confusing or distracting them. And when Ford researchers tested the new design, they found that drivers get obsessed with achieving a "high score" of getting the highest fuel efficiency:

In order to play into the research finding that drivers are looking for a high score when it comes to fuel efficiency, one high-resolution LCD screen on the dash features an eye-catching rendering of curling vines blooming with green leaves. It's more than a decorative element; it's a data-visualization tool intended to change the way people drive. If a driver wastes gas by aggressively accelerating or slamming on the brakes, for example, the vine withers and leaves disappear. More leaves appear if individuals drive more economically.

Matt Vella and Reena Jana of BusinessWeek have more on the story: Link - via Information aesthetics

I applaud Ford for trying to innovate, but as I write this post I distinctly remember driving in Los Angeles and finding a brand new Ford Mustang living up to the acronym Found On Road Dead, still with dealership plates and price tags (seemed that it was being taken for a test drive), broken down on the side of the road. I don't think the customer bought the car ...


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I'll concede the new Fords look better, but it will be a long time before I buy Ford again. We got my parent's 92 Taurus and it nickle and dimed us poor college students to death. We got rid of it as soon as we landed a job. Our Mitsubishi has not given us one problem since we traded in the Ford (8 years ago and 130,000 miles later).
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I had a "miles remaining" indicator on a 1993 Oldsmobile, with a fully digital dashboard and readouts. Of course, this is the same digital dashboard that told me I still had a quarter of a tank of gas when in actuality it was completely empty, leaving me stranded... so it may not be the best example.
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I have a 50cc Moped and get 100mpg. (Yes I'm bragging) Why is it that people think 35mpg is a GOOD ratio?

My speedometer goes up to 45 mph my actual top speed down hill is 42ish.
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@ Nathan,

One Ford did not take any Tarp money and two the reason they spent the time on the dashboard is called aesthetics. People want cars that run well AND look good. The dashboard is also an effective way to help people become more engaged with being economical with how they drive. Once again anyone that is expecting ANY car company to produce a 100mpg car anytime soon is smoking way too much weed. Also Ford is the only one of the big 3 that had this plan of action in place BEFORE the trip to D.C. .
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