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Study proves touchscreens inferior to physical buttons

Luke Pereira
24/08/2022
Study proves touchscreens inferior to physical buttons

Swedish automotive outlet shows buttons are safer, faster, and easier to use than touchscreens.


STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

A recent investigation conducted by Swedish car publication, Vi Bilägare (VB), has proven that buttons are superior to touchscreens.

VB lined up 11 new cars against a 2005 Volvo C70, timing how long it took drivers to complete a list of tasks. This included activating the heated seat function, increasing cabin temperature by two degrees and starting the defroster, powering on the radio and setting it to a specific channel, resetting the trip computer, lowering the instrument lighting to the lowest level, and turning off the centre display.

Some of the cars involved in the test included the BMW iX, Nissan Qashqai, as well as the Tesla Model 3. However, the old Volvo C70 came out tops amongst the lot clocking in a time of ten seconds flat while the car was driven 306 metres at 110km/h, while the other cars required twice as long or more, to complete the similar tasks.

At the other end of the scale, Chinese automotive manufacturer MG’s Marvel R clocked in the slowest at 44.6 seconds, during which the car travelled 1,372 metres – four times the distance compared to the 2005 Volvo C70.

Study proves touchscreens inferior to physical buttons
Photo by: Vi Bilägare

Although touchscreens do make life easier for automakers in terms of design and assembly, it doesn’t necessarily make our lives easier especially when it comes to multitasking while operating a car on the road.

The current trend of ‘some screens to rule them all’ sees carmakers replace discrete, physical buttons with touchscreens that control all of a car’s interior systems. The most extreme example of this is Tesla, whose minimalistic interiors have almost no buttons and are entirely controlled by the central touchscreen, aside from two steering-wheel buttons.

CarBuyer’s official line is that touchscreen-only systems are more difficult and more distracting to use. However, a compromise can be found in certain cars like BMWs and Mazdas, which have rotary controllers that skirt the ‘find it then press it’ operating logic of touchscreens.



Tags:

bmw ix Nissan Qashqai Tesla Model 3 Volvo C70

About the Author

Luke Pereira

CarBuyer's content creator loves producing entertaining, relatable content. He spends all year waiting around for Mariah Carey. Rumour has it he was married twice and is 'Luke Perry' incarnate are unfounded. @lukeypereira

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