I don't think it'll help with the car-touchscreen problem. Traditional auto controls (and the like) are useful because they're at fixed positions and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. That lets the driver identify the control largely by proprioception (specifically, by the combination of arm position, hand position, and finger positions) before manipulating the control. "Soft" modal controls on a touchscreen, which don't have a fixed relationship between their position and function, can't duplicate that - regardless of what they feel like to the touch.
Touchscreen controls and other "unified" control systems (like BMW's rightly-accursed iDrive) simply remove too much of the information that's available to the operator under a traditional control system. They're inherently broken and stupid, and can't be fixed.