April 10, 2019
We live in an age of information. Between our phones, our computers, and our TVs, we spend hours a day looking at screen after screen after screen. In the last decade or so, cars have been no different, with dashes and infotainment systems growing in size, features, and complexity for the last decade. Ford’s recent vehicles have been no exception to this. The 2020 Explorer has a gorgeous 12.3-inch digital dash that will show you anything and everything you want or need to know about your car.
But what if you just want to enjoy a drive? Ford is trying something bold to help. The new Explorer is hopping aboard a recent trend in digital minimalism and offers the driver what they’re calling a “Mindful Mode”. It’s simple in concept: de-clutter everything from your view and let you actually focus on driving. Select the relevant setting in the dash and you’ll be greeted with an exercise in beautiful, purposeful, simplicity.
Mindful Mode displays two main bits of information front and center: speed and fuel level. The two critical things that you absolutely need to know to get on your way. The background is a peaceful blue. At most, you can add song information to the left, and basic trip information to the right. Out of the way, on the bottom, is a simple readout of your compass heading, odometer, gear selection, and current fuel range. Ford says this setup forces you to focus on a single element at a time, which they say increases your awareness and mindfulness.
This willful simplicity is an attempt to buck the recent trend of data-saturation. Instead of more, more, and more data, Mindful Mode is an attempt at displaying, deliberately, the information that you need to drive well and not one thing more. Cutting down the amount of stuff a driver has on the dash may well make the driving experience more calm, and it will be interesting to see if it has safety impacts as well.
The Mindful Mode is just one of a suite of features in the new Explorer: the seats are more luxurious, there’s 14 speakers, and all of Ford’s new driver assistance gestures are now in full swing. Taken together as a package, driving the new Explorer might just be relaxing after all. It will be interesting to see if this mode is just another fad, or if more brands will follow Ford’s lead in the trend to customizing in a more minimalist way.
We at Team Ford are always excited by any new updates to the Ford family of vehicles, and the Mindful Mode is sure to remain one of the top innovations of the 2020 Explorer. This will definitely set Ford apart from the rest of the pack and give it a competitive edge that it will be sure to hold for the foreseeable future. Ford is dedicated to the health and happiness of their drivers, and this is indicative of their commitment to increasing the safety and comfort of their customers.
Come out and see us for a test drive today.