Touchscreens now make sense, bye physical buttons...

Touchscreens now make sense, bye physical buttons...

Author
Discussion

Super Sonic

5,345 posts

56 months

Monday 4th December 2023
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Looking forward to steering w a joystick.

TheDeuce

Original Poster:

22,506 posts

68 months

Monday 4th December 2023
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Super Sonic said:
Looking forward to steering w a joystick.
Saab did that decades ago!

TheDeuce

Original Poster:

22,506 posts

68 months

Monday 4th December 2023
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Fastdruid said:
Touch screens are fitted for one reason and one reason only.

Cheapness.

It's *FAR* cheaper for a manufacturer to stick in a touch screen than manual controls.
They are cheaper! But that's not the only reason. To make all the connected tech cars have these days useable requires a screen and central computer regardless of whether or not it also controls the heating and stereo etc.

The path taken is logical and necessary - at least so long as car manufacturers continue to add the tech and functions that their customers generally want.

Fastdruid

8,716 posts

154 months

Tuesday 5th December 2023
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TheDeuce said:
Fastdruid said:
Touch screens are fitted for one reason and one reason only.

Cheapness.

It's *FAR* cheaper for a manufacturer to stick in a touch screen than manual controls.
They are cheaper! But that's not the only reason. To make all the connected tech cars have these days useable requires a screen and central computer regardless of whether or not it also controls the heating and stereo etc.

The path taken is logical and necessary - at least so long as car manufacturers continue to add the tech and functions that their customers generally want.
Nonsense. It's cheaper. That is it. Want to add more features to the cooking models for the higher spec ones? No need to spend money on new switches (which are amazingly expensive), just add an extra "feature" to the software.

Touchscreens are very very useful to declutter for all those boring settings and options. With modern cars either you need a billion buttons or you need a screen and some kind of menu system (be it some kind of button based, dial or touchscreen) but not for the basics. Nothing you're going to want to change "on the move" should be from a touch screen.

*That* is where manufacturers are being cheap.

The *one* advantage to them is less blank spaces on the cooking models. rofl

lancslad58

634 posts

10 months

Tuesday 5th December 2023
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TheDeuce said:
That starts to not work given how much there is that can be adjusted on modern cars though. I remember the early noughties Lexus' and S class's, they had a physical button for everything - they ended up like commercial aircraft cockpits! You can see the logic of a central control system.

The only major bugbear of that centralisation seems to be people missing physical radio/media and heater controls.. but most people hardly ever need to change those things anyway - if ever given that modern cars have driver profiles in memory.

I will say that I hate the idea of not having a physical volume control - luckily only a handful of cars have dared to give up on that so far, and those that have, are heavily criticised for doing so.
Really ? Come on then ,name me a dozen "modern cars" that have driver proflies other than the seat settings.

TheDeuce

Original Poster:

22,506 posts

68 months

Tuesday 5th December 2023
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lancslad58 said:
TheDeuce said:
That starts to not work given how much there is that can be adjusted on modern cars though. I remember the early noughties Lexus' and S class's, they had a physical button for everything - they ended up like commercial aircraft cockpits! You can see the logic of a central control system.

The only major bugbear of that centralisation seems to be people missing physical radio/media and heater controls.. but most people hardly ever need to change those things anyway - if ever given that modern cars have driver profiles in memory.

I will say that I hate the idea of not having a physical volume control - luckily only a handful of cars have dared to give up on that so far, and those that have, are heavily criticised for doing so.
Really ? Come on then ,name me a dozen "modern cars" that have driver proflies other than the seat settings.
Virtually all of those cars which have now shunted long established physical buttons to the touchscreen.

There was an awkward period where that wasn't the case for some cars... A few stingy manufacturers went ahead for cost saving reasons and didn't implement anything much to make life easier. But most modern cars with big screens and touchscreen controls do have driver profiles.

There's no excuse for any car that can detect a specific key or mobile phone to not have driver profile recognition - it's all just software, it doesn't require any additional hardware.

ETA: specifically to name a dozen cars.... BMW. Or Mercedes. Or Tesla. Or VW. Not collectively, I think most of them can offer a dozen cars alone that set the car up for the driver. I'm sure there are many more. This stuff is so easy now and it's obvious and useful. The days of jumping in your car and finding the other half has ruined everything are passing.

Edited by TheDeuce on Tuesday 5th December 01:17

sideways man

1,332 posts

139 months

Tuesday 5th December 2023
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I can ‘touch the screen’ in my caterham… don’t find any issues at all biggrin:

119

7,106 posts

38 months

Tuesday 5th December 2023
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lancslad58 said:
TheDeuce said:
That starts to not work given how much there is that can be adjusted on modern cars though. I remember the early noughties Lexus' and S class's, they had a physical button for everything - they ended up like commercial aircraft cockpits! You can see the logic of a central control system.

The only major bugbear of that centralisation seems to be people missing physical radio/media and heater controls.. but most people hardly ever need to change those things anyway - if ever given that modern cars have driver profiles in memory.

I will say that I hate the idea of not having a physical volume control - luckily only a handful of cars have dared to give up on that so far, and those that have, are heavily criticised for doing so.
Really ? Come on then ,name me a dozen "modern cars" that have driver proflies other than the seat settings.
Many/most of the newer VW models.


CheesecakeRunner

3,957 posts

93 months

Tuesday 5th December 2023
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Fastdruid said:
Nonsense. It's cheaper. That is it. Want to add more features to the cooking models for the higher spec ones? No need to spend money on new switches (which are amazingly expensive), just add an extra "feature" to the software.
‘Just add an extra feature to the software”. The refrain of business people everywhere. Software design, development, and testing is far from free. Its difficult and time consuming to get right, especially in an environment like a car. It’s probably more expensive than using a physical button.

hemidom

1,274 posts

148 months

Tuesday 5th December 2023
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Mr E said:
For reference, next time blip the wipers with the button on the left stalk. You’ll notice the wiper controls appear bottom right of the screen.
Use the left steering wheel scroll and you can click left/right to change the setting.

I agree the auto wipers are “indifferent” at best.
A mate just got one as a company car and moaned about this yesterday. Don't think I'll tell him the solution biglaugh

It hardly seems like progress though, why not just keep that on the stalk? Seems ridiculous you have to flick it to access a menu to change it and look at the screen when you could just rotate or push up the stalk.

akirk

5,435 posts

116 months

Tuesday 5th December 2023
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I have cars with Apple CarPlay and big screens / digital dashboards, (but still manual buttons for the temp / seats etc) and I have a 94 RR with everything as physical buttons. The RR has memory electric seats / mirrors, heated seats / air con / heated windscreen / auto dimming internal mirrors / air suspension / and a whole range of gears - all operated from a simple panel of buttons designed for ease of use and use while wearing gloves…

Can’t think of anything the car is lacking, can’t see any reason for a screen, it would simply reduce functionality…

My sisters’ xc90 has the car handbook on the screen but you can’t read it while moving (even as the passenger) for safety reasons - yet the passenger can use the screen to alter suspension and steering without telling the driver - mmm that sounds safe!

Yet to see or drive any car where the screen is not a distraction similar to using a mobile phone - I wonder how many crashes are linked to screen use?

Ultimately a car is transport - it is not a phone / technology replacement - you do not need WhatsApp through the car system to be able to drive - sat nav / radio / reversing camera on screen the rest on buttons!

TheInternet

4,752 posts

165 months

Tuesday 5th December 2023
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It's a good start but I'm not buying in until my steering wheel is replaced by a touchscreen with a customisable picture of various classic steering wheel designs that really enhance the experience. And I'd expect, for a small monthly subscription, an additional selection of classic airbag designs to be displayed in the event of an accident.

JAMSXR

1,536 posts

49 months

Tuesday 5th December 2023
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They’re usually awful in my experience, good to see some manufacturers bringing buttons back.

TheDeuce

Original Poster:

22,506 posts

68 months

Tuesday 5th December 2023
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hemidom said:
Mr E said:
For reference, next time blip the wipers with the button on the left stalk. You’ll notice the wiper controls appear bottom right of the screen.
Use the left steering wheel scroll and you can click left/right to change the setting.

I agree the auto wipers are “indifferent” at best.
A mate just got one as a company car and moaned about this yesterday. Don't think I'll tell him the solution biglaugh

It hardly seems like progress though, why not just keep that on the stalk? Seems ridiculous you have to flick it to access a menu to change it and look at the screen when you could just rotate or push up the stalk.
I agree regards wiper controls. They're a thing you need to operate the car as a driver, so should be physical control on or around the wheel.

Although I understand why car makers in general are moving to central control, I do think Tesla took it a little too far.

Wills2

23,283 posts

177 months

Tuesday 5th December 2023
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lancslad58 said:
Really ? Come on then ,name me a dozen "modern cars" that have driver proflies other than the seat settings.
BMW introduced driver profiles over a decade ago can't remember the last one I had that didn't have it apart from the Z4C that's still on the drive but that's 15 years old now and doesn't have idrive.

But that's not an argument for buttonless interiors that feel like an empty room, and they can be annoying recently my key ran out of battery so switched to the spare and promptly lost all my settings in the car everything hot keys/nav history/seat position/heated seat/wheel settings and various functions that you can set etc...bit of a faff to be honest.






Edited by Wills2 on Tuesday 5th December 09:04

ATG

20,747 posts

274 months

Tuesday 5th December 2023
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It's a pretty obvious point, but you have to look at a screen to be able to use it. That is the whole point of a screen; it's something you look at. So for displaying information; brilliant. But when you're driving a car you want to absolutely minimise any distraction from what's happening outside the car. You want to absolutely minimise the amount of information the car displays to you and make it is as simple as possible to consume. The best controls are ones you do not have to look at; easily locatable, mechanical controls that give mechanical feedback. Levers, dials and switches that fall to hand and have easily detected actuation. This isn't some rejection of new technology; it's just basic interface design. If someone invents a touchscreen you can use without looking at it, that'd be great ... but it wouldn't be a screen anymore.

mikecassie

611 posts

161 months

Tuesday 5th December 2023
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There should be legislation that ensures touchscreens are only usable by the drier when the car is stopped. They are a really bad idea when you are meant to be looking at the road ahead and to use one you need to look at where your finger is touching a screen. Bring back sensible proper switches I say.

Ninja59

3,691 posts

114 months

Tuesday 5th December 2023
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"A new study by the UK’s transport research laboratory (TRL) shows that the latest in-vehicle infotainment systems that display smartphone apps on in-car displays impair reaction times behind the wheel more than alcohol and cannabis use"

https://etsc.eu/apple-carplay-and-android-auto-inf...

And also this one which shows an old Volvo doing 4 tasks in 306 metres v a BMW iX that took nearly 1km and an MG taking even longer.

https://etsc.eu/physical-buttons-outperform-touchs...

Reality is driver profiles, voice control solutions are plasters over poorly implemented, overly complex UI problems that should never have existed.

In addition, the highlight of modern anti collision systems to also plaster over poor driving potentially because of these systems is a menace. If anything, I find my mum's XC40 beyond annoying with the safety systems that get scared by the odd parked car and slam on the brakes for no sodding reason (and no it is normal).

I get the need for more functionality but some of it coming out now is nothing more than an utter gimmick that causes the potential for more accidents.

I simply should not have to be forced to use voice control to turn a heated seat on and off because some utter moron did not think I would be driving and placing the menu 3 clicks down was sensible at XX mph.

Edited by Ninja59 on Tuesday 5th December 09:44


Edited by Ninja59 on Tuesday 5th December 09:49

-crookedtail-

1,564 posts

192 months

Tuesday 5th December 2023
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robbieduncan said:
-crookedtail- said:
As it wasn't my car it could just be unfamiliarity on my part and there would have been as easier way.
Push the button on the end of the left stalk to the detent (trigger a single wipe) the left/right in the left wheel. For the next time smile
Mr E said:
For reference, next time blip the wipers with the button on the left stalk. You’ll notice the wiper controls appear bottom right of the screen.
Use the left steering wheel scroll and you can click left/right to change the setting.

I agree the auto wipers are “indifferent” at best.
Thanks, guys! Noted for next time biggrin


TheDeuce

Original Poster:

22,506 posts

68 months

Tuesday 5th December 2023
quotequote all
Ninja59 said:
"A new study by the UK’s transport research laboratory (TRL) shows that the latest in-vehicle infotainment systems that display smartphone apps on in-car displays impair reaction times behind the wheel more than alcohol and cannabis use"

https://etsc.eu/apple-carplay-and-android-auto-inf...

And also this one which shows an old Volvo doing 4 tasks in 306 metres v a BMW iX that took nearly 1km and an MG taking even longer.

https://etsc.eu/physical-buttons-outperform-touchs...

Reality is driver profiles, voice control solutions are plasters over poorly implemented, overly complex UI problems that should never have existed.

In addition, the highlight of modern anti collision systems to also plaster over poor driving potentially because of these systems is a menace. If anything, I find my mum's XC40 beyond annoying with the safety systems that get scared by the odd parked car and slam on the brakes for no sodding reason (and no it is normal).

I get the need for more functionality but some of it coming out now is nothing more than an utter gimmick that causes the potential for more accidents.

I simply should not have to be forced to use voice control to turn a heated seat on and off because some utter moron did not think I would be driving and placing the menu 3 clicks down was sensible at XX mph.

Edited by Ninja59 on Tuesday 5th December 09:44


Edited by Ninja59 on Tuesday 5th December 09:49
I can believe some tasks take longer and are more distracting using the touchscreen, but as always that's not the full picture.

Moving the heated seat control out of the physical world and into software in my car has indeed made it less easy to click on or off - but it's also allowed it become something the car can automatically adjust, and that's actually proven to be very useful and is well implemented.

If it takes me three times longer to adjust the settings on the touchscreen, but I only need to make a manual adjustment one drive in twenty, am I not saving time and being distracted less overall?

I dint know why you post reports concerning the dangers of screens and then go on to advocate buttons over voice control. If I say "hey [car name] turn on the heated seat", I haven't taken my hands of the wheel or my eyes off the road. Back when I had a physical button I did have to move my hand and at least glance at the button to confirm I had pressed it enough times to set the desired heating power.

I do think that some manufacturers are morons in terms of how they have implemented certain features, and I'm not going defend anyone who puts frequently afldjusted settings behind layers of touchscreen menus. But lessons are being learned and implemention of such things is subsequently improving. As is smart functionality which increasingly negates the need for manual operation in the first place.