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Daimler enlists computer game designers to encourage efficient driving

FRANKFURT, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Daimler is hiring computer programmers to create games that encourage electric and hybrid vehicle owners to drive more efficiently, the company's research chief Markus Schaefer said on Tuesday.

Mercedes vehicles have enough graphics processing power from their use of stereo cameras to also power sophisticated graphics, he said at the Frankfurt autoshow.

"We have lots of employees from the gaming industry working on user interfaces," Schaefer said. "The key task is to bring about a change in consumer behavior."

Schaefer added that Mercedes can now engage drivers with a graphics-based scoring system based on how efficiently they brake and accelerate.

The Mercedes interface displays a floating ball that needs to be kept within a circle. Aggressive acceleration results in the ball moving off target and a lower score.

"Our Asian clients love these gaming aspects," Schaefer said.

(Reporting by Edward Taylor Editing by David Goodman)