Driving Simulator Helps Fine-Tune the Ford Focus Electric
AUG
19

Butterflies, solar panels and windmills – which would you like to see on your dash display? Ford knows the best way to ensure customers will be happy with the overall driving experience is to get them involved with the R&D of a new vehicle! Ford invited potential customers to participate in a special driving simulator to enable engineers to take their feedback to finalize the in-dash display of the Focus Electric.

Via an 11-mile circuit through various terrain – such as city streets, hills and country land – the participants saw the same information that would appear in an actual Focus Electric, including two 4.2-inch full-color LCD screens flanking the speedometer in the center. There, information about state of charge, distance to charge point, the corresponding budget and expected range surplus appear. How the gauge concepts and design are comprehended by participants helps to ensure the unique extension of the MyFord Touch® interactive display is easy to use and will meet owner information needs. MyFord Touch on the Focus Electric offers drivers features and info about range, destinations and charge points.

The team also brought in members of the Michigan Electric Auto Association, a group of electric vehicle enthusiasts, to validate the driver information. The concepts were well received by the group, who considered the information thoughtful, particularly for people who are not familiar with the electric vehicle experience.

Specifically, butterflies, which are used to graphically represent the additional range beyond one’s charge destination, were considered to be an appropriate emotive theme. One theme that was being pursued – a circuit board – was poorly received. It was seen as cold, unattractive and not exciting, so it was dropped. And, “not everyone thinks windmills and solar panels are desirable,” said Paul Aldighieri, Ford Global HMI Engineer. The team incorporated the feedback and received high acceptance levels for the new graphics.

Another example is that the original Brake Coach showed the absolute amount of energy that was captured and sent back to the battery, as well as the energy lost due to friction. Participants provided feedback that this was too complex and the indication of the energy lost to friction was not well understood.

Engineers simplified the program to show just the relative proportion of energy captured out of what was available to be captured. This gave the drivers a score that was easier to understand and was shown to be more motivational. Additionally, engineers received input on alternatives for the terminology used to represent what eventually became the charge point, budget and surplus screens.

For those who want more in-depth information, the cluster’s MyView feature offers greater personalization choices. Using five-way buttons on the steering wheel, Focus Electric owners can configure their own custom information screen in the left display. MyView gives owners the ability to choose trip budgets and range views and decide whether or not to display associated text with each screen.

The system also helps drivers optimize their use of the vehicle’s regenerative brakes to recapture kinetic energy and send it back to the battery. Brake Coach gives drivers feedback on their braking performance – and the effect it has on their range – once the car comes to a complete stop after a braking event.

The right-hand display screen in Focus Electric also uses blue butterflies to graphically represent the additional range beyond one’s charge point destination – the more there are, the greater the range. To reinforce the message, at the end of each trip a display screen provides distance driven, miles gained through regenerative braking, energy consumed and comparative gasoline saved by driving electric.

Related Tags
battery
focus electric
myford touch

34 COMMENTS ON THIS ARTICLE
Paul Wiekierak I have $10,000 invested in the instruments I have in my plane (I am a licensed private pilot) and the dash panels in these new automobiles make mine look like toys! Cars these days are just getting so sophistocated that I am surprised that they can't drive themselves. If they could I am sure that we would no longer have a drunk driving problem.
2 year(s) ago via
Jamie At Ford Hi Michael, If you have a specific vehicle concern you want me to address, I will be happy to assist. I’ll need your contact details, VIN, dealer name, and approximate mileage to research the issue further. Jamie Ford Customer Service Division
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Szilard Torok Nice:-)
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
mariana mellor How is a hybrid or electric car a better option environmentally if we're still using coal to produce electricity?
2 year(s) ago via
Stephan Lessard Ford forever forever Ford
2 year(s) ago via
Jam Jss a some car
2 year(s) ago via
Travis Murdock make a Sedan, and drop the butterflies and I'll buy one, I'm just not a huge fan of hatchbacks, or butterflies for that matter :(
2 year(s) ago via
ElJuan Felipe Peña un simulador a ver si la gent aprende a conducir bien evitando tantos accidentes
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Kay Lang Michael Garrett-please leave this FORD LOVERS PAGE!!!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Martin T. Jasper Bulit to last.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Martin T. Jasper Funny you should mention the recalls, Mr. Garrett. I had a recall on my wiper motors on my Ford truck 10 years ago, and I still have yet to get them replaced. Moral of THe stOry, if IT ain't broke, don't fix IT. (:
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Marybeth Davis My Ford Lariet is a 2003 and is absolutely AWESOME ! It has exactly 400,000 miles on it and It keeps on tickin. I LOVE MY TRUCK!
2 year(s) ago via
Antonio Eligia Fuentes La version electrica la quisiera ver
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Stephen Linson ^Haters gonna hate
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Michael Garrett FORD has more recalls than any other north american car or truck
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Michael Garrett DISLIKE.....FORD is GARBAGE
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Jay Doverspike It there are facebook page for Ford techs specifically?
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Our American Cars Always using the best technology to create the best products! Great job Blue oval!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Minerd Bell We do like ford
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Nando Silva adoro este carro
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Ace Car Shipping Ship a new Ford Focus with www.acecarshipping.com
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
J Daniels I would really like to try out one of Ford's simulators if ever get the chance. I like the idea of burrerflies to show the driver how much flying time they have left, also, the comparitive savings display between the gas and electric, so I could brag-about it to my friends. Not to mention another display to show how many miles between oil changes. Whoops, it don't have one!
2 year(s) ago via
ßünyamin Şirinyurt 1986 ford eskort compact
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Dave Castleberry Ill never drive anything electric bring back the torino make that the retro project that blows the competition out of the water
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Rachid Bayu many thanks service ford ..my best withes your news is interessed message send to me ../rachid 2011/
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Milan Podnar Ford Fiesta..
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Aaron Harris M Turn a Aussie xr5 turbo into a cosy for us!!!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Zvone Cosworth Radić This is it!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Martin la Rosa ea!!!!!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Terri Bennett Bring back the CROWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Aaron Harris M Loving the xr5 turbos and the new one with those smicko recareo seats little pocket rockets! keep up the good work
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
La Pawawoi can drive by iphone?
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Rudy Chavana III Cool.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Marco Pardo i drive the focus everyday at work!!!!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
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