I believe it was Al Gore in his book Earth in the Balance who said that an ordinary car is one of the greatest threats to the environment. Clearly, all automotive companies need to be thinking about Mother Earth the next time they roll their next model off the assembly line.
I suppose this is why Ford has come up with a new dashboard that literally shows you how earth-safe your driving is. Part of it has to do with measuring your fuel efficiency, which is not gauged by a meter or a number, but a picture of a vine.
Apparently, if your driving is fuel-efficient, the vine will start budding and blooming until it is healthy. However, if you are wasting gas, you will be forced to watch that vine shrivel up and die. Yes, it is odd to have a visual cue instead of an exact scientific reading, but I guess we consumers have been trained to react to pictures instead of raw data.
Personally, I think this new type of dashboard is nice simply because it looks cool. I mean, look at it, it’s like selecting new tracks for iTunes, for crying out loud! Of course, that type of display can’t be cheap, so you’re probably looking at a few hundred dollars being tacked on to the Ford in your future.