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    Thread: Are Glass Touch Screens Safe To Use While Driving?

    1. 12-01-2019 04:53 PM #1
      I have noticed that some of the premium brands (Audi, Porsche, Land Rover, others) have totally replaced the switches with glass touch panels. Both on the console and up on the dash.

      I am thinking no and here is why. There is not tactile feedback indicating which button you are hitting, you have to look down at it to see what you are hitting.

      How is this any different than looking down at your smartphone?

      Or am I totally off on this?

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    3. I’m not a loser. I’m a winnah!! patrikman's Avatar
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      12-01-2019 05:00 PM #2
      yes. and no.
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    4. 12-01-2019 05:40 PM #3
      They're not at all safe for the purpose to which they are being put to use.

      What they are, is fashionable and attractive to ignorant buyers who are looking for "oooo, shiny".

      Idiots rule the world.

      It's no different than California trying to dictate how the rest of the country behaves. The latest to hit me is the default password business.

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      12-01-2019 05:56 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by elmo3 View Post
      They're not at all safe for the purpose to which they are being put to use.

      What they are, is fashionable and attractive to ignorant buyers who are looking for "oooo, shiny".

      Idiots rule the world.

      It's no different than California trying to dictate how the rest of the country behaves. The latest to hit me is the default password business.
      Yeah I call the touchscreen thing showroom selling. **** is dazzling in the showroom but a **** show on the road. By the time you figure it out the sale is final.

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      12-01-2019 06:54 PM #5
      My next door neighbors just got a 2020 Santa Fe.

      The only thing she could tell me about it is that they don't need the key to open the rear hatch and they can remote start it with Alexa.

      Looks like the salesmen are telling them the important stuff.

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      12-01-2019 07:46 PM #6
      "safe"? of course not. (and since absolutely no one is driving these "unguided cruise missiles") and i do mean all vehicles, it's just a throw of the dice before someone smacks you in the butt because no one is paying attention.
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    8. 12-01-2019 07:50 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by @McMike View Post
      My next door neighbors just got a 2020 Santa Fe.

      The only thing she could tell me about it is that they don't need the key to open the rear hatch and they can remote start it with Alexa.

      Looks like the salesmen are telling them the important stuff.
      That sounds like a Homer Simpson moment. "Well, it's an SUV. And you can remote start it with Alexa." "SOLD!"

    9. 12-01-2019 07:51 PM #8
      Definitely not as safe as analog. These Audi interiors look gorgeous without fingerprints. And without sun shining on them. In professional photographs. Are people having trouble seeing the lower Audi screens with sun/fingerprints or are they bright enough to be fine? Wonder how dated these "geewhiz" interiors will look in 10 years. "Lol dad you actually had to TOUCH the screens to use them??"

    10. Member dr_spock's Avatar
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      12-01-2019 08:10 PM #9
      Pretty safe when you're stopped at a red light. Although other drivers will honk you if you're lost in the menu screens and didn't notice the traffic light has turned green.

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      12-01-2019 08:32 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by TheCool View Post
      Definitely not as safe as analog. These Audi interiors look gorgeous without fingerprints. And without sun shining on them. In professional photographs. Are people having trouble seeing the lower Audi screens with sun/fingerprints or are they bright enough to be fine? Wonder how dated these "geewhiz" interiors will look in 10 years. "Lol dad you actually had to TOUCH the screens to use them??"

      it's gonna be real tough to convert these to rally cars when they're old junkers and you can't turn on defrost and hold a drift at the same time.
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    12. 12-01-2019 08:33 PM #11
      Theyd be perfectly fine if there werent oem nag screens and unexpected lockout of most usable functions that cause far far more problems keeping your eye off the road.

      I will never ever pay for any oem system that has sny of that BS. Give me analog buttons that dont disable over 5 mph or need a goddamn update.

      Thankfully carplay and android auto have negated most of this BS.

    13. 12-01-2019 08:46 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by TheCool View Post
      Wonder how dated these "geewhiz" interiors will look in 10 years.
      Well, the screens will be blank. Or partially so.

      Unrepairable is what they'll look like.

    14. 12-01-2019 09:00 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by elmo3 View Post
      Well, the screens will be blank. Or partially so.

      Unrepairable is what they'll look like.
      This. Talk about planned obsolescence... The entire system can and will almost certainly be compromised, if not completely disabled, due to any small glitch. Also: Can they be operated with gloves on, regardless of the material? Are they visible regardless of lighting or glare, even with polarized sunglasses? Any special cleaning or maintenance instructions? Temperature limits? You know, stuff you wouldn't have to worry about ever with mechanical switches that have worked so well for decades... Generations... More than a century...

    15. 12-01-2019 09:04 PM #14
      I saw this in a Land Rove Velar the other day.



      And this 2019 Audi A7:



      This can't possibly be safe but has to be cheaper to make. One panel with no moving parts.

      When it gets old - the car will have to be scrapped.

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      12-01-2019 09:06 PM #15
      No, not safe at all. It should be against the law to have to find a menu just to turn up the heat.
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      12-01-2019 09:09 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by tincanman99 View Post

      This can't possibly be safe but has to be cheaper to make. One panel with no moving parts.

      When it gets old - the car will have to be scrapped.
      ... So is it cheaper or not?

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      12-01-2019 09:12 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Iroczgirl View Post
      No, not safe at all. It should be against the law to have to find a menu just to turn up the heat.
      Which cars have climate settings only behind a menu?

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      12-01-2019 09:23 PM #18
      Was Matlock not on TV today? Is that why all of the Boomers are in this thread?

    20. 12-01-2019 09:36 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by zmt2 View Post
      ... So is it cheaper or not?
      Good point.

    21. 12-01-2019 09:43 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by 2 doors View Post
      Was Matlock not on TV today? Is that why all of the Boomers are in this thread?
      Having to take your eyes off the road to do common things while driving is just bad design. Especially when you're in a 4,000 pound ball of metal and gasoline going 70MPH. It has nothing to do with the ok boomer meme. No one's complaining about the good ol days where their cars got 12MPG or something.

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      12-01-2019 09:47 PM #21
      I'd hate to use the all-touchscreen HVAC controls of the Audi. Looks like a pain to use when driving and I can't imagine it works well in cold weather.

      Quote Originally Posted by zmt2 View Post
      ... So is it cheaper or not?
      Easily cheaper to manufacture. I'd be more worried about finding replacement screens when that Audi is over a decade old.

      To be fair, I was in a tired Acura TSX with 190K miles and the touchscreen (when equipped with Tech package/Navi) worked better than in my FocuST, but at least that had some redundancy with manual buttons whereas the Audi does not.





      Audi and Tesla are aiming for the 1G GM systems from the 80s. How fun does this look in January?

      Last edited by 88c900t; 12-01-2019 at 09:51 PM.
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      12-01-2019 10:03 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by 88c900t View Post
      Easily cheaper to manufacture. I'd be more worried about finding replacement screens when that Audi is over a decade old.

      To be fair, I was in a tired Acura TSX with 190K miles and the touchscreen (when equipped with Tech package/Navi) worked better than in my FocuST, but at least that had some redundancy with manual buttons whereas the Audi does not.
      Right. Cheaper to manufacture, so cheaper to manufacture replacements. Might be more fiddly to repair an existing unit, but I doubt most folks do garage re-soldering of pot sweepers or whatever for analog/physical controls anyway.

      I'm also going to guess that with fewer moving parts and physical linkage components, there's less to wear out. You might lose more if something like the screen goes out, but failure rates will be lower, probably significantly so.

      I think whether or not something's "safer" overall is as much a function of design and usage consideration as it is the underlying mechanics. I owned this center stack for 2.5 years and still regularly got the HVAC adjustments wrong:



      one thing I have come to appreciate are programmable "bookmark" buttons like BMW uses (the modern implementation of the radio preset buttons). Most of the i3's fun and useful stuff is buried behind some menus admittedly, so having 8 presets for things like the efficiency graph/TPMS readout/traction control is really nice. Maybe that's the best of both worlds solution as such a design can be rolled out to any car across the make since the buttons are model agnostic.

    24. Member freedomgli's Avatar
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      12-01-2019 10:04 PM #23
      Learn to use your car’s voice commands. Problem solved. Certainly cheaper to make and incorporate the level of feature complexity the marketing types believe the market demands of the manufacturer. If you’re lucky your car lasts until planned obsolescence kicks in. Few ever make it that far in real life. Don’t like it? Then drive old cars and keep them running in perpetuity.

    25. 12-01-2019 10:27 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by zmt2 View Post
      Right. Cheaper to manufacture, so cheaper to manufacture replacements. Might be more fiddly to repair an existing unit, but I doubt most folks do garage re-soldering of pot sweepers or whatever for analog/physical controls anyway.

      I'm also going to guess that with fewer moving parts and physical linkage components, there's less to wear out. You might lose more if something like the screen goes out, but failure rates will be lower, probably significantly so.

      I think whether or not something's "safer" overall is as much a function of design and usage consideration as it is the underlying mechanics. I owned this center stack for 2.5 years and still regularly got the HVAC adjustments wrong:



      one thing I have come to appreciate are programmable "bookmark" buttons like BMW uses (the modern implementation of the radio preset buttons). Most of the i3's fun and useful stuff is buried behind some menus admittedly, so having 8 presets for things like the efficiency graph/TPMS readout/traction control is really nice. Maybe that's the best of both worlds solution as such a design can be rolled out to any car across the make since the buttons are model agnostic.
      In my experience electronics don't age well particularly since they removed certain elements (lead) from the solder to make it more eco friendly. In particular lead free circuit boards tend to develop micro fractures as they age which interfered with the board's voltage which causes the software to usually go nuts and crash. The only reason I know about this is computers have this problem as they age. There is no reason to think it won't apply to touch screens.

      The touch screen will be subject to environmental stresses - high heat and extreme cold.

      The usability is very questionable. You won't be able to adjust anything without looking at it.

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      12-01-2019 10:33 PM #25
      A bunch of the implementations have haptic feedback to mitigate the lack of sensory feedback compared to a push button. Personally I'd prefer a mix of hard buttons and a touchscreen, but I'm sure with time I could get used to a jog dial.

      I do believe that climate should be completely divorced from the touchscreen - hard buttons and knobs only.

      Quote Originally Posted by freedomgli View Post
      Learn to use your car’s voice commands. Problem solved. Certainly cheaper to make and incorporate the level of feature complexity the marketing types believe the market demands of the manufacturer. If you’re lucky your car lasts until planned obsolescence kicks in. Few ever make it that far in real life. Don’t like it? Then drive old cars and keep them running in perpetuity.
      To be fair though, most cars with voice command are terrible at it, mine included.

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