When touchscreens first appeared in vehicles, everyone wanted one. Now most new cars offer one, even if it’s not a huge 38-inch curved OLED screen like the one in the Cadillac Escalade. Some owners are not entirely satisfied with touch screens now that they have one, and would rather go back to the old buttons. The outcry was big enough that some automakers were starting to listen in.
Features of touch screens in new cars
There are many reasons why touch screens are popular. Firstly, despite the fact that it has been on the market for 15 years, it is still considered recent. In addition, many of our other devices, such as phones and tablets are touchscreen, so it only makes sense that infotainment systems in cars should be as well. I
Another plus factor is that touch screens are cheaper to install, according to Slate. In fact, this amazing monitor that drives up the price by thousands of dollars in upgrades in some cases costs almost $50 to install. Surprisingly, buttons and knobs cost more.
Disadvantages of touch screens
Touchscreens are dangerous for many drivers because they require them to take their eyes off the road to look at the screen. The more complex the touch screen, the more time it takes to navigate it. This is especially true of infotainment systems, which require users to navigate through multiple screens to complete a single task.
Even drivers determined not to look at the touchscreen may find themselves peeping anyway. Some tend to flicker and change. This can bring it to your attention, especially if there are several important messages such as a check engine warning.
Slate pointed to a study by AAA, which stated that some touchscreens can hold a driver’s attention for up to 40 seconds at a time. This is despite the fact that the NHTSA recommends that drivers spend no more than two seconds glancing at the screen, and it should take no more than a maximum of 12 seconds to navigate it. This is a very worrying trend that could easily lead to a plane crash.
Buttons in new cars are back
Many consumers want buttons to become the norm again because they are easier to use. If you want to increase the volume in the car, just turn the dial. In some cases, you don’t even need to reach to the other side because there are conveniently placed buttons on the steering wheel that you can press. This means you never have to take your eyes off the road.
Now consumers are starting to rebel, and Porsche is listening. New 2024 Porsche Cayenne owners will likely be pleased to find the buttons are now back. Volkswagen, which owns Porsche, explained that consumer feedback played a major role in this. It remains to be seen if more Porsches will make the switch to pushbuttons.
If you hate touchscreens and want to keep your buttons, there are several automakers that never gave up on them. Bugatti is one of these manufacturers. Nissan and Hyundai also continue to integrate buttons and have spoken out against automakers who were quick to ditch buttons in favor of cheaper screens.
Unfortunately, this probably won’t be a widespread trend. Many automakers are interested in cutting costs, and have no intention of going back to more expensive physical buttons.
However, the public has reached out to Porsche and Volkswagen, so it’s likely that if enough people speak up, they’ll change their tune. It will probably cost them money before it becomes the new trend.
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