(in the UK 2012 travelling with a Londoner in his new car)
Driving in the UK is an expensive proposition with gas prices reaching close to $10/gallon. When a friend decided he was going to trade in his Land Rover for a sleek new 2-door economy car in England, it was all I can do to be amazed at his attention on his mile-per-gallon meter on his dashboard as we drove around in his new 2-door.
Traditional dashboards can be quite boring, usually displaying fuel level, speed and RPM statistics. New cars are taking dashboards to the next level in providing Miles per gallons statistics and instant feedback to see if drivers can change their behavior to be more energy aware. University of Berkeley researchers in San Francisco are even conducting studies on different types of feedback information on the dashboard and their impact on driving behaviors.
Where will all this go? Well I can tell you that a simple MPG meter had my friend updating me every time he transitioned to a new driving area (ie..highway, road etc) on his fuel efficiency and this was a drive that lasted over 3 days! He was truly proud of his accomplishment. Imagine what we could do if this was not only displayed real time, but aggregated from previous trips/friends into even better feedback that will eventual gamify the entire car driving experience.