SUVs

2020 Ford Explorer has 'Calm Screen' mode to help drivers chill out

Overwhelmed by information? The Explorer can help.

Turn on the Explorer's Calm Mode for a break from information overload.

Ford

Most of us spend too much time staring at screens and would be happy to take a break from information overload. That continues in modern cars, where touchscreens, warning chimes and even full-digital instrument clusters bombard drivers with information. Ford, however, thinks it has a solution thanks to a new function in the 2020 Explorer called Calm Screen.

In 2020 Ford Explorer SUVs equipped with the optional 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, drivers can activate the Calm Screen setting to hide all driving data except for the car's current speed and fuel level. Ford nicknamed the function "Mindful Mode." It "offers a break from the constant stream of information and alerts bombarding us," Lee Newcombe, Ford Explorer brand marketing manager, said in a statement today.

Similarly, Mercedes-Benz has a more involved system called Energizing Comfort that can use ambient lighting, curated playlists, seat massagers and even scent diffusers to help chill out motorists.   

Of course, if you're so stressed you need some sort of break, it's hard to imagine that a different instrument cluster layout will make much difference. We'd advise drivers who are feeling overwhelmed to pull over to take a break. Nonetheless, we appreciate Ford's efforts to help drivers focus on the task at hand: driving.

The 2020 Ford Explorer was introduced at the Detroit Auto Show and goes on sale this summer. In addition to the standard model, there will be a thrifty hybrid version able to cover up to 500 miles on a tank of fuel and a sporty Explorer ST with 400 horsepower and commensurate handling upgrades.