Tech is coming to the automobile industry in a huge way. However, there are some technologies that have acid-taste in the industry. Though, many tech companies including apple, Google and Microsoft have tried their best to ensure the technology introduced in the industry is conducive and highly dependable. One mistake that these companies are making is integrating almost everything that works with Smartphone in the automobile industry. A perfect case of what am talking about is touch screen technology.
The use of touchscreens in the Smartphone world has really changed things. However, there are a lot of questions and disagreements about their use in the automobile industry. When you are using your Smartphone, it’s very easy to stop and operate. You have to look at the screen to ensure you are touching the right commands. However, it can get difficult to operate touchscreens while still operating the vehicle. The fact is that there’s no tactile feedback and hence you may not feel for the button you are looking for.
Mazda among many other automakers has intentionally refrained from touchscreens. The company has, in fact, explained saying that it’s not a decision that was hastily made. They took a long time trying to gauge the possible effects of touchscreens on driving safety and comfort while driving. Over the years of studies, it became clear that the whole system may not have any priorities.
Mazda started by looking at the time spent looking away from the road to touch the screen and even the time spent to refocus on something on the drive way. They thought that they needed to home some factors that reduced that specific time.
Over the years, we have seen a couple of issues with touchscreens on vehicles. Most car owners say that they believe what they see and what their fingers tell them. This means that they don’t have to spend a lot of time looking at the commands. They want a system where they can still focus their attention on the road and at the same time check the commands with the hands.
On What Grounds Did Mazda Denounce Touchscreens?
Most vehicle manufacturers have started offering tablet-like touch screen interface but Mazda denounced this move publically. There are several reasons why they got into this move. This may seem shocking to some of the drivers but Mazda had enough evidence to do so. The main reason is that they want to make their cars more safe and comfortable to ride. Here are some of the reasons why they publically refrained from touchscreens in all their models.
Keeping Your Eyes on the Road
As I had already stated, Mazda considered the amount of time that the driver will take getting their eyes out of track and the possible consequences. The company thought that the time the driver will take to shift from road to the screen and back can be significant and it may cause some serious consequences. The automaker took this into consideration and devised a new user interface that would cut on this time.
The company also took some time to do researches on which they found out that drivers have a tendency to torque steering while they are trying to reach the touch screen. Since every part of the screen feels the same, the driver will be forced to look at the screen which can be fatal. There are several people and groups including the AAA and University of Lowa researcher Dr. Mc Gehee that supported Mazda’s decision on this ground.
While most of the people would agree that touchscreens are good and at the same time compiling, there’s room for better and safer user interfaces. With the risk that is associated with this, Mazda decided to refrain from touchscreens. A touchscreen demands that the driver get the eyes out of track to check on which commands they are about to press. Mazda wants to stay on the same line with their modern yet safer commands that drivers can interact with while keeping their eyes on the track. The driver will just have to touch and feel which command they are about to initiate. They use these commands to perform simple tasks like managing temperatures, changing the channel and reducing or turning the volume.
Seeing Beyond Mazda’s Decision
While most touchscreens may not let you do every function mid-drive there are some of them that let you do some mid-drive. Though, Mazda’s decision is to give us a feel of analog. They want to sacrifice modernization over safety. Mazda are taking us to a time before touchscreens when they think driving was more comfortable and safer. However, with all the additives and the explanation that the company gave, there’s a need to concur with them. In order to incorporate touchscreens features in new car models, there should be more actions to maintain safety and comfort. However, there are some of the intellectuals that say that part of Mazda’s testing involves blindfolding a person. They want to assume that the driver cannot be able to find all the commands and at the same time control the vehicle.