The best US hybrid out is the new Ford Fusion Hybrid--and two innovation consultancies, Smart and IDEO can take lots of credit for it. Yes, Ford came up with a nice design for the car and a pepped-up battery pack for the gas-electric engine. But the Smart/IDEO research and design of the dashboard really make this Ford hot.
In boosting mileage, it’s all about feedback and engagement. Smart designed the Vine—a green vine that grows on the dashboard as you improve your driving habits and push up your mileage. It’s a great visual that shows you what and how you are doing as you drive. It’s a means of improving your driving habits—and saving you money on gas. Very cool.