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.
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 ...