The digital instrument display in the all-new Ford GT supercar is poised to be the dashboard of the future as it quickly presents information to the driver in an easily readable format, based on five special driving modes.
The innovative 10-inch wide digital instrument display is a lot more advanced than the one in the original Ford GT, which comprised a fixed set of analog gauges, buttons and knobs to handle almost every potential situation.
Speaking about the new digital instrument display, Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Performance said that driver focus and attention are essential for high performance and the new sleek digital instrument display which changes depending on the driving mode is more useful to the motorist.
Ford engineers and designers created the state-of-the-art 10-inch wide digital gauge cluster to be customisable, elegant, and able to tailor information to each drive mode, to help ensure customers taking the Ford GT to its limits are provided the data they need to make critical decisions behind the wheel in the most efficient possible way.
Defining the visual future of in-car data
The Ford GT program gave engineers and designers to offer a fresh take on the instrument cluster, thus adding to the capabilities of a connected car and previewing the future of Ford vehicles. The layout of the digital instrument display changes based on which data is most important in a particular scenario. The information is shown in a way that is easy for the driver to understand and process.
The design is executed on a high-resolution display that matches the sleek, purpose-driven cabin. Data is conveyed in crisp, high-contrast graphics.
Getting every pixel perfect
As the model was being transitioned from the design to the prototype stage, Ford Performance reached out to companies which specialized in data display to collaborate on the display unit. The team worked closely with Pektron (for electronic design, development, implementation and manufacture) and Conjure (for graphical design) to come up with renderings that were painstakingly animated, include highlighted font, color and responsiveness, and to minimize driver distraction and eye strain.
The five drive modes can be easily accessed through steering wheel-mounted controls, to help keep driver attention on the road and his hands on the wheel.
Each mode presents information in a different manner depending on what parameters are the top priorities for each mode and thus customizing the display based on the context.
The information is displayed in the following manner in each drive mode:
• Normal mode sees the data being displayed in a straightforward, purposeful manner. The theme is kept simple with the speedometer being kept in the center, gear selection to the right and the fuel and temperature being displayed on the top right. The hockey-stick-shaped tachometer displays in a compressed scale for lower rpm, and as the engine revs up, the 3,000-to-7,000-rpm range is seen at the top of the display.
• Wet mode retains many of the features of the normal mode while using a blue theme and a “wet floor” concept. Graphics under the speedometer emulate the shine of wet asphalt to remind the driver of the mode selection
• Sport mode adjusts the display based on the important parameters that need to be considered in this mode, with gear selection being at the front and center, the speedometer being displayed on the right and the theme being bright orange to go with the aggressive mood. This is the preferred mode for most test drivers
• Track mode is ideal for a fast-paced environment with its stark combination of black background and highly legible text and graphics, in a crisp, red theme. Gear selection and engine speed take center stage, while coolant temperature, oil pressure, oil temperature and fuel level are all displayed on the bottom right as percentages
• V-Max is a totally different display that gets down to the basics in pursuit of maximum top speed. A large, centred speedometer is featured prominently, while the tachometer is reduced to just a line with indicator dot for minimal distraction. Coolant temperature, oil pressure, oil temperature and turbocharger boost are displayed to the right, with fuel level displayed top left
Nick Terzes, Ford GT engineering supervisor said that the engineering team a lot of time to get the modes exactly right and though the end result appears to be simple, sometimes it is a challenge to get things just right.
Joey Hand, who used a Ford GT to emerge as the champion of the 24 Hours of Le Mans spoke glowingly about the different drive modes
Dashboard of the Future
GT is not the only Ford model that will benefit from the use of the full digital instrument display technology. Ford is planning to use this innovation in other future Ford vehicles as part of its drive to raise the performance bar while improving all its vehicles for customers in the long run.
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