Further fuel for the touchscreen versus buttons debate was offered today at the British Motor Show, as Spanish car-tech newcomer IFR Automotive showed off its new, one-size-fits-all motocomputer kit. One of the most notable features of this, as far as the driver is concerned, is that it replaces almost all hardware controls and …
The screaming molten metal inferno of FAIL.
With the physical controls in my boring old non-touchscreen car I don't need to take my eyes off the road to do anything with those controls - it's all done by touch and muscle memory.
How's that going to work with touchscreens? Simple - it ain't.
Not only a snake...
"Aspid" is pronounced like "a speed"
NOT a good idea
Anyone heard of a heads up display? Supposed to get the eyes up and out of the cockpit for better situational awareness.
All this little device will do is to further distract drivers by causing them to have to fiddle with it to do the simplest thing.
Um, what submenu was the AC controls in? Was it Car->System->Environmental Control->Temperature??? Just put a hot/cold knob right where everyone expects it. DONE!
Being the telephony admin from my company I have choice of phones. I was using cool looking touch screen Nortel phone until I couldn't stand it any more. I couldn't even pick a line or any of the options with any certainty. I have to have physical buttons. If I cant dial a touch screen phone, how the hell do you expect it not further distract the already distracted fuc*tards on the road (I include myself in that category LOL)
(AC cuz I'm @ work)
Save us Jeebus from these motoring idiots. Anyone else think we need a Jeebus icon?
A touch screen the size of the one in the foto is an accident waiting to happen or any other size for that matter. Can you imagine a car freak/computer geek messing around with the configuration whilst driving at speed? On a lot of modern bikes you can play around with the fuel mapping when NOT riding but to mess with the thing on the go is dumb. Just a little warning, I live in Spain and in general am not impressed with spanish construction and technology. Marketing here is based on appearances with minimum value for money and maximum profit.
How long before someone decides this sort of thing needs to be running Windows. Could give a whole new meaning to BSOD.
It's still a bad idea
Buick tried touch-screen controls in the States quite some time ago (look up the Buick Reatta if you're interested). As was alluded to in an earlier comment, without any tactile feedback, there's no way to work the controls without taking one's eyes off the road.
Generally speaking, that's a bad idea.
Ever wonder where Clippy went?
Hi! It looks like you are attempting to make a left turn. Can I help you with that?
And it will never crash
Apparently it's so advanced and safe there's no need for a driver's side airbag--unless the photo for the story is meant to suggest the steering wheel airbag stamps an impression of the control buttons and real-time interactive display ["WARNING! Sudden high-speed deceleration detected with solid object ahead!"] in your face after it deploys.
Oh no , just another splat device in the car to kill the brain dead driver , thus allowing the end user to go straight to the graveyard after instillation unable to turn right or left on the way !
A fatal choice indeed !
And when the computer crashes?
Brings a whole new meaning to "Blue Screen of Death"
Why the button
It's a touchscreen, so why are there 11(!) buttons on the steering wheel? Aren't touch screens supposed to remove the need for buttons? Looks a lot like a UniLink, which may be where they got the name from.
touchscreens already deadly
I've seen sanctimonious rich liberal types out of San Francisco driving their new SLK's and f**king around with getting email on their newest iPhone while in after-work traffic. Holding it right up in front of their stupid egocentric faces and nearly rearending cars in front of them-twice in ten miles before the @sshat I was one lane over from finally exited. Big Obama sticker in the back window. Who buys a brand new Mercedes and mars it's glass with a campaign sticker that's going to be worthless and irrelevant in (best case) after the second reelection attempt? (same goes for anyone stupid enough to do this to a brand new car-"W 04" on what was a brand-new SUV? Pro Al Gore stickers on what was a brand new Lexus? WTF?)
This was just on one commute, where I was offsite two days. usually I can avoid the San Francisco crowd, but if these sort of tw@ts are common enough that I run into them the second time I take that commute, then heaven help us when there's more of them.
Giving 'em a touchscreen in their Mercedes and Beemers that's "hackable" and there'll be demands for an email client, instant messaging, and f**king youtube while they drive. And of course, they'll not accept a bit of blame (the rich w@nkers who buy these) for the damage they cause. They'll just demand a "law" be passed to protect themselves from their own stupidity, and then scream that Republicans are taking away their rights.
(Where's that d@mned earthquake we've been promised that'll split the San Andreas Fault and drop that City of the Insane into the sea?)
Couple of thoughts........
1 : Will there be an option of "Microsoft Bob' as a driving companion?
2 : Mum, can I play Tetris whilst you drive, pleeeeaaasse....... ' Slap'
3 : What does this button/option do? OH Fuck I'm sure that wasn't meant to happen.
4 : Pr0n whilst you drive anyone?
5 : What does accident mortality rate mean anyway??
6 : Will it swear at you you when you do something wrong, Can you imagine the thing screaming at you " Fucking tw@t you should have turned left".
More significantly; just try turning the steering wheel. I suspect it'll be even harder to use that whizzy UI when it's presented to the average driver at random angles.
At this point you're thinking "I've never used the controls when the wheel's not in the straight ahead position." You probably have, on a long curve or spiral ramps like a car park, or a roundabout for that matter.
You'd be better off mounting the display and controls on the console and making a transparent steering wheel ;)
To all those that see impending disaster
I get what you're saying, without the tactile feel and simplicity of buttons and knobs, you'll be spending too much time concentrating on the screen instead of the road.
Answer? Ditch the steering wheel altogether and replace it with a 42" touchscreen and a Wii controller. Then all you need is a map of the road in the middle of the touch screen and you can spend all your time figuring out how to turn on the AC with one hand, while driving the car with the other..
Might even be able to relax and watch a movie too.. just keep the car in between the lines and pray all the lights are green.
As someone already pointed out...
...there's a reason they don't have touch screens in aircraft.
Also, since when is a touch screen ANYWHERE newsworthy? The last time this was novel tech was somewhere around 1979. Hey, look, I made a touch screen donut dispenser! Truly, it is the pinnacle of donut dispensing technology, due to its touch screen!
(And to those who think that the donut dispenser thing is random - my wife just ate the last donut without telling me. If we had a dispenser, maybe I could have been warned that there was only one left, via my blackberry, maybe.)
am I missing something?
Nearly every comment here is about the dangers of using it whilst driving.
I didn't see anything in the blurb that suggested you should be remapping your engine or altering your damper settings whilst actually in motion.
Surely these are activities that you do very rarely and should be done whilst stationary.
Okay, so it replaces all the computers, that doesn't mean there can't still be a knob to control the air con.
I thought for a moment that I was on luddite.com, or maybe iFearChange.co.uk, grow a pair and stop worrying about how this can be misused if it's not configured to shut the display off when you start to move.
I've just had to avoid touchscreens on a project at work due to the lack of tactile feedback from them- and that was on essentially a big motorised drum of cable with some hydraulic latches and lights thrown in for good measure (more to it than that but it'd be boring :D).
On a car that's doing- lets assume- 80mph down a motorway (hardly an unfair assumption) you'd be distracting yourself from the road for a horrendous distance. 10 seconds of that, that's probably 1/5th of a mile you've covered while essentially blind to your surroundings.
Buttons, dials and switches are so, SO much safer on cars and other equipment.
And what about the sun? With the sun behind you- pointing at the center console screen- would you be able to see the center console screen? How about if you had a white shirt on and it was in front of you- could you see the steering wheel screen?
Flame because that's what this idea will go down in.
To compound the problem, a Volvo it ain't.
In Spain, and most of Europe, "moto" refers exclusively to motorcycles. Hence, for example, MotoGP. Your average bike doesn't have a steering wheel, and touch screens don't work well with gloves.
The alternative demo
"Yes, we know it looks exactly like a Ford Focus. But really, we've replaced the entire computer system with something much better. As a driver you can't tell? Well, that was kind of the point..."
Focussing attention on the touchscreen as a bad idea seems like it might be distracting from the better idea that regardless of the interface, this might be a sensible system. What if to get the touchscreen controls one had to stop and plug in a computer, but otherwise the various knobs and dials were used as computer inputs. Then again, that probably wouldn't be newsworthy...
A lot of functions in a modern car automatically switch off when the car is moving, or in some cases when exceeding 10km/h. Why not just do that with the touchscreen.
The icon is obviously appropriate, given how many people couldn't work this out themselves.
Sounds like a good environmental idea to me
Put these in all cars and we should see a sharp reduction in the population of car drivers in this country :)
100mph to 0mph in 3 seconds?
If I'm not mistaken thatn 4.5g. Be sure to close your eyes before you brake...
"A fatal Error has occured"
Brings a whole new meaning to that message, doesn't it?
To steve "Surely these are activities that ... should be done whilst stationary." Just like using a phone, drinking a hot drink, putting on your makeup, and the million and one other things that people do in their moving vehicles every single day. Manufacturers /intended/ usage bears no relation to what the idiots will actually do with it.
How much more electronics do they need to have before just sitting in one of these gets you done for using a non-handsfree mobile phone while driving?
100 -> 0 in 3 seconds is 1.5g by my calculation. Not quite so eye-popping, but I'd still have my eyes closed if I needed to do it :)
3 points and a fixed penalty...
Is what it's going to be when using one of these - surely more distracting than using a mobile phone? May be all well and good on their test track or driving around the car park - try driving through a City Centre and adjusting your Radio - someone's going to get seriously hurt!
Mine's the one with 'Paramedics' on - rushing towards me after ploughing into a Bus Stop. All I wanted was to turn Radio 2 off!
Touch Screen Mobile Electronics
Touch screens in cars are stupid. It's been tried here in the states many, many times and it always results in difficult to operate autos and weird, expensive stuff broken after a few years - ultimately resulting in massive devaluations of the car.
Sometimes an old idea can be resurrected with success, but not this time. This is a waste of time and money.
Oh my word....have you seen it??? Do you understand the technology??....Because it is so new...I dont think so ...I have really looked into this because I am lucky enough to afford it - i want the best and something I can enjoy...........
I can understand uninformed comments because the car is so new and lots of people say "we have something new!!! Hurray!!!" when in reality there have been lots of false claims about a sports cars performance and technological advances in the past. This doesnt help Aspids case at the moment, being so new. However, this company has spent 5 years in development and taken the trouble to patent their technology because it is so ground breaking. If you doubt it -check out Aspidcars web site.
Let me tell you, I have ordered mine at the motorshow and I have discussed the car in great detail.
These people really care and they want to embrace not only the best in current talent in the market place but they are equally keen in utilising and developing the skills of the creme de la creme of new graduates. This is something that I am personally committed as society sometimes forgets young people...you ask them about this! They also offer consultancy advice - their skill repetoire is huge!
Because I have had to research this car prior to investing my money - lets clear up a few erronous things that have been stated on this blog:-
*The major control buttons required to drive the car are on the steering wheel and these fall easily to hand
*The steering wheel display is not touch screen
*The centre touch screen that is referred to in this blog, is for setting up the vehicles configurable parameters, before driving and for controlling the rest of the I.C.E, systems, just like any other top brand European car like Merc or BMW for example
I.C.E, I.C.E baby.......
Come on - you can comment but do a bit of research before...I have,,,,and all the other people that ordered at the motor show
Lady Bird- Aspid