Designing better drivers..

18/08/2009

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Interactive Experiences

Ford SmartGauge with EcoGuide:

Designing better drivers.

In their drive for fuel economy, Ford worked with teams from Smart Design and IDEO to help design SmartGauge with EcoGuide, an innovative instrument cluster for hybrid vehicles. We thought design could influence driving behavior. Ford’s engineers would optimize efficiency of the vehicle – we would optimize efficiency of the driver.

Building on extensive research from all the collaborators, we clarified the lines of communication between driver and machine. Confusing information was eliminated to make room for meaningful feedback. SmartGauge has opened a dialog between car and driver which allows them to respond to each other in ways that lead to better driving decisions and, importantly, saving gas. It represents a paradigm shift in auto design and a revolutionary new experience for drivers.

Talk of the SmartGauge with EcoGuide, which debuted in the 2010 Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids, is buzzing through the auto industry and the environmental community.  The business world is also taking note, with several recent articles on BusinessWeek.com and in Fast Company.

SmartGauge with EcoGuide was named a Finalist in the 2009 IDEA competition through IDSA/BusinessWeek.

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