Leaves and vines grow on the Ford Fusion dashboard in proportion to conserved energy.
Phil Patton, the automotive design writer for The New York Times, has a killer piece looking at the design and interfaces for hybrid and electric cars on Design Observer. The driving point of his piece is that these new green dashboards are not only informing the driver on vital statistics like speed and mpg, but have become a marketing platform for new technologies:
They wrap new technology in interfaces that both excite and reassure. They make drivers feel good about themselves. And they use game-like strategies to encourage them to drive more efficiently.
With the help of design firms and interaction designers, hybrid and electric car dashboards are a recent example of thoughtful design shaping human behavior—encouraging drivers to employ green driving habits. Read the full piece where Patton takes a closer look at the dashboards of new green vehicles here at Design Observer.