Coffee Talk #637: Ford Focus Electric and the Gamification of Driving

Ford Focus Electric 2014

Driving a Ford Focus Electric has a lot of similarities to playing videogames on a home console. In the immortal word of Christopher Cross, “It sounds crazy, but it’s true.” The Ford Focus Electric has a system of achievements, scores, and leaderboards that supplement the driving experience, similar to how PlayStation and Xbox consoles have these features to supplement the videogame experience. For certain drivers (i.e. nerdy ones), it makes driving more fun.

On the “My Driving” page on MyFordMobile.com, Ford Focus Electric drivers can keep track of their “Brake Score” and “Driving Score.” The former measures how well or poorly the driver uses the car’s regenerative breaking system. The latter factors in overall acceleration, breaking, and speed. The goal is to encourage Ford Focus Electric drivers to use their cars more efficiently and get the most out of every battery charge. For gamers and people that just like racking up high scores, this feature can be incredibly appealing.

MyFordMobile Trip Log (Ford Focus Electric)

Achievement whores will enjoy driving the Ford Focus Electric, simply because they can unlock achievements. MyFordMobile.com breaks up achievements into three categories: driving, environmental impact, and community. The categories are self-explanatory and appeal to different types of drivers. Those that care most about single-player achievements will focus on driving, tree huggers will want to rack up as many impact achievements as possible, and those with multiplayer leanings will enjoy unlocking community achievements. Again, it’s a fun way to supplement the Ford Focus Electric driving experience for people that know and enjoy these kinds of gaming systems, while those that are unfamiliar or dislike gamification can ignore this aspect of the vehicle.

MyFordMobile Achievements (Ford Focus Electric)

Naturally, the biggest difference between the Ford Focus Electric’s various scores and achievements compared to their videogame counterparts is the way they’re presented. Whether you drive a Ford Focus Electric or see one on the road, you want all drivers to be focused on the road and driving conditions. You do not want someone zipping along, getting giddy from a dashboard achievement notification, taking their eye off of the road, and smashing into you. With that in mind, Ford Focus Electric scores and achievements can only be viewed on MyFordMobile.com, while leaderboards can be viewed on the MyFordMobile website and app. While this takes away the instant gratification of unlocking an achievement in a videogame, it’s safer for everyone on the road.

Speaking of leaderboards, this is probably the most robust gamification feature in the MyFordMobile system. There are currently six leaderboards: Braking Expert, EV Stretcher, EV Tour Guide, Kinetic Ninja, Renaissance Man, and Zen Master. The leaderboards are currently broken up into 14 regions that span America and Canada. You can read the descriptions of each leaderboard and see examples in the image gallery below.

[nggallery id=140]

 

I know that many of you hate the term gamification and what it usually entails, but in the case of the Ford Focus Electric, it’s pretty cool. Achievements, scores, and leaderboards on MyFordMobile.com provide ancillary features that make driving a Ford Focus Electric more fun. These features certainly aren’t for everyone, but for gamers and competitive people, they enhance the driving experience.

As a lifelong videogame nerd, these gamification features make me hit up MyFordMobile.com at least daily (usually after every trip, if time permits). I enjoy unlocking achievements. It’s fun trying to maximize my “Brake Score” and “Driving Score.” While I don’t care for what muscle cars and rice rockets bring to the table, I’m all about nerding up driving. That’s exactly what Ford has done with the gamification features of the Ford Focus Electric.

What do you guys and gals think of these features? Do you think that’d you enjoy them? Or are you annoyed by the proliferation of gamification? Leave a comment and let me know (please!).


Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, the WWE Battleground PPV, Steven Gerrard retiring from English football duty, or the irritating Netflix vs. Verizon feud, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Author: RPadTV

http://www.RPad.TV