And By the Way, Why Do Cars Have Touchscreens?

Ok, this is unrelated to anything; it’s just a question that’s been nagging me for a while: Why does every new car have a touchscreen for controlling all of it’s interior functions? Jalopnik has a post on potential issues therewith:

Cars are getting less dependable, but it’s not so much to do with typical mechanical breakdowns so much as electrical maladies that can range from irritating to totally critical. Being unable to easily program your preset radio stations is one thing. Being unable to turn on your A/C without restarting the car so the touchscreen works again is another.

I’m not even worried about the touchscreens being complicated or glitchy. One of the good things about having actual buttons and knobs for the functions of your car is that you can find and use them by feel alone. Without ever taking your eyes off the road, you can walk your fingers across your dash and find the right button to change the radio station or whatever.

When everything’s controlled through a touchscreen, though, you can’t do that. Virtual buttons all feel the same. So, you end up having to take your eyes off the road more to make routine adjustments to your sound system or A/C.

I love cool technology as much as the next guy (probably way more, really; I confess, I squealed a little when we got a car with a touchscreen), but this seems like a change just for change’s sake, that’s actually making things less convenient and less safe.

One thought on “And By the Way, Why Do Cars Have Touchscreens?

  1. Just to provide some emphasis, I was just in an accident, and have been in a rental for a couple weeks. It has a touchscreen, which is nothing but a problem.

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