With more technology making its way into vehicles, drivers are having to deal with a lot more information on the various displays, which is counterproductive with the push toward reducing driver distraction.
Ford is taking a step toward reducing clutter in vehicle displays with a new “Mindful Mode” in the all-new Explorer. The feature strips away most of the information from the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, leaving simply the speedometer and fuel gauge.
A recent Nielsen study found that we spend half our day processing information from the various screens we use, yet more than 50% of us want mandatory time away from our devices. Ford’s own study showed 69% of adults desiring mandatory shut-down from devices, while 76% indicated they seek to engage in greater self care.
“We live in a world of ubiquitous screens, and the information can be overwhelming,” says Lee Newcombe, Ford Explorer brand marketing manager. “The new ‘Mindful Mode’ in the all-new Explorer offers a break from the constant stream of information and alerts bombarding us, by giving drivers the option to disengage and take a moment for themselves away from the chaos technology can wreak.”
The idea borrows from meditation and mindfulness techniques that help practitioners focus on just one thing in the moment, helping to reduce stress levels. The clean design of the soothing blue screen presents just enough information in an “easy on the eyes” manner to not constantly draw the driver’s attention back to the display, unlike the way that smartphones and other mobile devices constantly draw attention with various sounds and visuals.
“It’s no secret many people are tethered to their devices – engaging with screens at all hours day and night,” said Sheryl Connelly, Ford global consumer trends and futurist. “Yet if there’s one opportunity throughout the day to reduce your exposure to digital demands, it’s when you’re driving. Ford’s new Explorer can serve as a sanctuary from chaos and distraction.”
Mindful Mode adds to the serenity of the all-new Explorer interior (its quietest ever) and its relaxation qualities, including multi-contour seats, and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.