In brief: Driving used to be a viable vestige to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. Hitting a desolate back road with the windows down was a peaceful and relaxing experience but that’s getting harder and harder to come by.

Most new vehicles are loaded to the brim with all sorts of technology – complex infotainment systems, driver assist features and a plethora of safety features with more beeps, chimes and buzzes than you can shake a stick at. It’s all designed to accommodate our digital lifestyles but at times, it can be a bit exhausting.

Enter the 2020 Ford Explorer.

As TechRadar highlights, Ford’s new SUV features a subtle option in the infotainment system (and on the screen behind the steering wheel) called “calm.” When activated, calm eliminates distracting visuals from the navigation system, stereo and Apple CarPlay connection. On the center console screen, you’ll simply get the time overlaid on a subtle blue background and on the display by the steering wheel, everything but the speedometer turns off.

The publication notes that calm doesn’t actually disable anything – it’s more of a visual interface choice, at least at this point. Future iterations could take it a step further, however, by actually making it impossible to select a radio station, for example, but that’s little more than wishful thinking at this point.

With any luck, other manufacturers will pick up on this and add similar features to their own offerings. Society has gotten to a point that constant stimulation is the norm and quiet time is feared. Perhaps features like these can help to restore the idea that the occasional dose of peace and quiet isn’t a bad thing.

Masthead credit: Autumn road by jansk.