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Applying game design principles to the real world – new Honda Insight February 20, 2009

Posted by jeremyliew in game design, game mechanics.
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Popular Science has an interesting article about the new Honda Insight and some of the ways that it helps drivers drive in a more fuel efficient manner. Two of the techniques show a very strong game design influence:

Achievements:

Kudos For Being Green
The Insight’s Eco Guide makes sensible driving as entertaining as playing a videogame. Starting with empty graphical “stalks” shown on the multi-information display, efficient drivers can earn “leaves” that fill out the five branches. Over the car’s lifetime, a thrifty pilot can accumulate a second tier of leaves, then a flower on each branch. When a driver grows all five plants, the screen displays a trophy.

Achievements for good driving

Achievements for good driving

Real Time Visual Feedback:

One of two driver-feedback systems on the Insight, Eco Assist displays a glowing arc above the digital speedometer. The arc’s color varies from blue (wasteful) to blue-green (somewhat efficient) to green (efficient), depending on how a driver accelerates or decelerates. A separate screen near the tachometer displays twin bar graphs that show drivers how their starting and stopping habits affect fuel consumption.

visual feedback

visual feedback

Interesting stuff!

Comments»

1. prfx - February 20, 2009

Cool concept. My concern is that people will change their driving style to achieve better feedback and it could be dangerous to other drivers. I used to drive an EV1 and it had a kinetic charger that could be switched on manually. I used to slowly coast into stop light and only accelerate to the minimum velocity needed to make it to the next light, all to save batteries and extend my range. I did this because the damn thing would run out of batteries if you drove it anywhere near the maximum stated range.
However, I could tell this type of driving practice was frustrating to other drivers and am worried that there are safety concerns that go along with encouraged unnatural driving habits. People going way to slow end up causing traffic jams, road rage and, consequently, wrecks as others try to scramble around them. It is more energy efficient to smoothly accelerate and regulate top speed but it is not how human drivers operate and will, therefore, have pronounced negative effects on traffic flow.
Overall it is a cute idea that needs to be thought through a little better.

2. Ted Howard - February 20, 2009

When my girlfriend and I got our Prius, we saw that it had multiple odometers and the average energy efficiency data reset when you reset the odometer. We assumed that meant that we could each have our ‘own’ odometer and track average energy efficiency of our driving styles. Our plan was to compete to see whose driving was more efficient. We were pleased that Toyota had thought of this feature.

It turns out that the Prius only tracks total energy efficiency and resets the data when any odometer is reset (or something like that). So, no such feature. I still think it would be a fun, cheap feature to add.

3. amisare - February 20, 2009

Applying Game principles to traffic control

In some construction zone where the speed limit is 40kph, digital display board provides instant feedback of actual speed of drivers entering such zone. The board displays messages such as “Thank you! Your speed is 34kph. Well done!”

The “compliance” has been good, compared with similar speed limit in school zone, where drivers routinely ignore similar speed limit sign.

4. dkhare - February 22, 2009

Green driving HMIs are being introduced in almost every other car model coming to market these days. There’s even a term for it now – ‘hypermiling.’ I think it’s instructive to see how hypermiling functionality is now being offered not just embedded/in-dash but also in consumer electronics devices such as GPS/PND devices, mobile phones, as well as purpose-built CE devices such as from PLX Devices. I have blogged on this at: http://www.nextwala.com/nextwala/2008/12/hypermiling.html .

5. Game Tycoon»Blog Archive » Encouraging Fuel Efficiency - February 24, 2009

[…] Jeremy Liew: Popular Science has published an article that describes how the 2010 Honda Insight (a hybrid […]

6. Encouraging Fuel Efficiency » Hancorp Technologies - February 25, 2009

[…] Jeremy Liew: Popular Science has published an article that describes how the 2010 Honda Insight (a hybrid […]

7. Upcoming Honda Insight Turns Eco-Friendly Driving Into Game « Earth2Tech - March 2, 2009

[…] tip: Jeremy Liew for Lightspeed Venture Partners’ blog. […]

8. Driving the 2010 Honda Insight Will be like a Video Game, Sort of | EcoSilly - March 2, 2009

[…] but you do save some cash. The back-lighting for the speedometer consists of a semi-circle that turns green when your driving at maximum efficiency, bluish-green when your doing just OK, and blue when your lead foot is burning unnecessary gas. […]

9. Driving the 2010 Honda Insight Will be like a Video Game, Sort of « Green All-In-One Blogs - March 2, 2009

[…] but you do save some cash. The back-lighting for the speedometer consists of a semi-circle that turns green when your driving at maximum efficiency, bluish-green when your doing just OK, and blue when your lead foot is burning unnecessary gas. […]


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