Farewell Touchscreens?

The usage of touchscreens in cars is one of the biggest controversies in which the automobile sector is currently involved on, while manufacturers are pushing for bigger touchscreens… Users aren’t that convinced about the advantages touchscreens give, but surely they are about the disadvantages.

The biggest of these inconveniences so far is needing to use the touchscreen for functions that used to be acessible with a simple touch of a button. Not only its a usability problem, its also a problem of safety having to use a touchscreen for basic functions which opens the door to lots of distractions and the possibility of accidents.

Google along with other tech giants so far tried to include technologies that lock the touchscreen while driving, sometimes Voice controls try to remedy this practical problem but… who is behind the next radical change in dashboard design? 

Euro NCAP pushes against touchscreens

For now, car manufacturers will have to tone down their futuristic designs… at least partially if they wish to have a good safety evaluation on their cars. Euro NCAP which is the biggest program for safety evaluation in Europe will require car manufacturers to include physical controls in the driving space.

To explain this decision, Matthew Avery director of strategic development of Euro NCAP has highlighted the problem that is the excesive use of touchscreens; he affirms that practically all car manufacturers have moded basic controls to the central touchscreens on the dashboard. More than often forcing drivers to take their eyeso ff the road and augmenting the risk of an accident. 

But that doesn’t mean that Euro NCAP will permanently forbid touchscreens in cars. But it will begin to favor cars that keep physical controls in the final safety rating, to be exact… the organization will begin with the most basic functions, as indicators, wipers, emergency lights, horn, SOS button… 

Will touchscreens be gone for good?

For the moment, functions like the Radio or the AC will remain hidden away on the touchscreens since they’re not deemed as vital safety/control devices, although that can change in the future since Euro NCAP has opened the posibility to favor the physical controls over touchscreens.

The Majority of manufacturers shouldn’t be affected with their current models, except for some brands that will have to return to physical controls. Another posibility is that some future models will need further modifications to include physical controls, so this change is more aimed towards changing the market tendency than change the current models for sale.

We must clarify that the Euro NCAP is not an international government organization, henceforth it lacks the capability to make laws that forbid adding touchscreens to cars. Manufacturers can calmly ignore this change without legal consequences but… their safety punctuation might be affected due to this, so for now its highly probable that the majority of manufacturers applies this change to keep their 5 star safety rating. 

Published in New and Noteworthy

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2 months ago

I feel that NCAP won’t have as much of an effect as consumer preferences. While people generally like touchscreens, and larger ones at that, they don’t want touchscreens to have every single control since it’s just inconvenient when incorrectly done

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