Without tactile feedback, the touchscreen becomes a point that requires the driver to shift his eyes off of the road and onto the screen. The touchscreens for infotainment is good and certainly adds a clean factor to it. But I find that the need to access heater controls (like trying to activate the front defrost), can be quite distracting and even a safety hazard. Nothing like a knob that I can grasp and turn while I continue to watch the road ahead.
I agree GTOlover. Even something as simple as changing radio station. I've got an old car and can control all the main functions solely by feel. You know approximately where the buttons and knobs are and if your aim is off by a quarter inch you immediately adjust without even thinking about what you're doing. If you have a flat panel, you have no clue where you are so you have to look.
I whole heartedly agree - as soon as I saw the title to this article I was thinking about the nightmare I have with the touchscreen on my cell phone and how frequently I "mistouch" the screen even when looking at it. While the technology itself is ideal in some venues - I just don't see it as feasible for an automotive environment. I too vote for knobs that I can feel in order to operate automotive controls...
Voice control is still the safest manual driver "advanced" interface.
If the touchscreens could have some tactile feedback and operate exactly like manual controls, people will still look off at their touchscreens, wherever they are placed. I remember reading about some screens that could create custom raided-surfaces on touchscreens. Could that be the real answer?
The real way to go is driverless cars. Google is getting closer to something useful. Several car companies have auto park systems. Others are branching into automated controls as well. After this trend comes to full maturity, we can have all the touchscreens we want in the car... Not driving will leave us all bored.
I agree with James. Voice is possibly the only viable option for cars until they drive themselves.
Alternatively, a "smart system" could figure out what you want to do and offer suggestions. Like, learning your driving pattern, locations, etc. A low level A.I. would be needed, so that might be a long way off too.
Good idea but I think it would have to be a pretty sophisticated voice control system - I can see lots of variables that would need to be addressed. Not sure I would want "suggestions" either - that lady in my GPS can get quite annoying! I think common sense would go a long way in providing a safe ride without all of the electronic gadgetry that often distracts more than it helps but unfortunately that doesn't come factory installed...like a touch screen can.
The use of touchscreens in manufacturing should be an interesting evolution to follow over the next couple years. Clearly these user interfaces offer key advantages and more visual presentations. It will be interesting to see how users adjust to learning new techniques to viewing information, even in terms of selecting laptops versus tablets for general computing.
I agree that the touch screen on an automotive dashboard can be a serious distraction. Tactile feel and a memoty of where things are on a dashboard is much safer. It doesn't take your eyes off teh road or require distracting you from driving. We can bemoan these thoughts all we want. They will really be brought into focus with a huge lawsuit claiming damages for what we have been discussing.
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