A few months ago, Ford unveiled the new eco-friendly instrument cluster called the SmartGauge in some of it’s new hybrid cars. Ford worked with Johnson Controls as well as IDEO and Smart Design, to analyse how people would measure efficiency and how their access to fuel information impacted their driving behaviour.

SmartDesign helped Ford understand how they could maximise the usage of a LCD display in a car panel, where the norm seems to be mechanical and/or hard to read displays that typically require way to much visual attention, that should be focused on what lays ahead of the vehicle instead of it’s controls. As Ford put is SmartGauge is an attempt to combine their traditional mechanics efficiency by optimising and improving the role of the driver controlling the machine.

I found the following video from SmartDesign about the usage of Peripheral Vision in the new SmartGauge:

for a better understanding on how it really looks when you’re using it, this demo by FORD, should clear some questions:

It’s brilliant to see how much work it’s taken by some companies to truly optimise and in this case augment our capabilities while using machinery.