If you feel like there is just way too much information being firehosed at your brain these days, you’re not alone. A recent study by the Nielson Group found that people on our continent spend about half their day processing information presented at them on a screen. Your author will think about that the next time he complains about kids playing Fortnite.
Ford feels they have a way to reduce the data onslaught. Calling it a ‘digital detox’ – of no relation to Dre’s unreleased album, by the way – the company is baking a Mindful Mode into the 12.3-inch digital dashboard of their new 2020 Explorer.
“We live in a world of ubiquitous screens, and the information can be overwhelming. 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,” said Lee Newcombe, Ford Explorer brand marketing manager.
There is merit to this notion. In a world where most of us are tethered to our devices, and distracted driving is more prevalent than ever, offering drivers a chance to turn down the amount of extraneous data being thrown at them by a vehicle’s dashboard is a solid idea. When activated, this new Mindful Mode strips away all data from the instrument cluster save the speedometer and fuel gauge.
Come to think of it, those were the only two gauges on the dashboard of your author’s careworn 1989 Ford Escort LX he drove in high school. Everything old is new again, apparently.
Alert readers will note this Mindful Mode does actually show a bit more information than those two gauges, including a compass and outside temperature readouts on the display’s bottom edge. They are unobtrusive, however. A discreet gauge for engine temp is cleverly baked into the speedometer as well.
In addition to its new 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, the new Explorer seeks to offer further relaxation by way of multi-contour seats and a 14-speaker B&O sound system. Ford’s gee-whiz Co-Pilot360 tech and a suite of driver-assist tools also help take some of the stress out of the daily commute. The company says they chose a graduated blue background because studies have shown that the human brain interprets that colour as soothing and relaxing.
Set to arrive later this year, the 2020 Ford Explorer rides on new rear-wheel drive architecture, with four-wheel drive and a 365 horsepower V6 into some models. A hybrid model is on tap, too. Look for it on dealer lots mid-summer.