Someone at Jalopnik laments the replacement of buttons with touchscreens in automobiles on a nearly weekly basis. And even though at times it appears as though an elderly man is yelling at the sky, we have good reason to be upset. This is due to the fact that utilizing buttons instead of a screen to manage every aspect of your car’s systems, including the audio, the climate control, and some driving functions, actually makes them safer.
The Swedish auto magazine Vi Bilägare, which has been studying the usability of both buttons and touch screens in contemporary cars, has made this not at all shocking discovery.
The magazine examined the user interfaces of 11 different currently available autos to achieve this. The screen-filled BMW iX and Tesla Model 3, the haptic Dacia Sandero, and a 17-year-old Volvo V70 were among the models assessed.
Drivers were given a variety of tasks to complete during the tests, such as changing the radio station or adjusting the climate controls. Each time, the automobile was driven at 68 mph, and the time and distance that each car traveled while the tasks were being completed were measured by the researchers.
The website made sure to underline that the drivers had time to familiarise themselves with each vehicle before beginning the tests, so they weren’t put into each one blind.
What did the outcomes indicate, then?
Unsurprisingly, the Volvo that was 17 years old was the easiest to drive. The mission was completed by this button-filled beauty in just 300 meters, which is 1,000 meters fewer than the MG Marvel R, which had the worst performance.
Vehicles using a combination of screens and buttons, including the BMW iX and Seat Leon, were said to perform reasonably well, but both still traveled about 900 meters throughout the test. And if you’re driving while preoccupied over that distance, a lot can happen.
Thankfully, not all new cars were a hassle to drive. The Dacia Sandero and Volvo C40 outperformed the other new vehicles in the experiment.
Although both of the new versions still have touchscreens, users may also utilize buttons to operate a number of features. During the test, the Volvo traveled 417 meters, while the Dacia went 414 meters.
So, by no means are we suggesting that this test establishes that all touch screens are bad. The findings showed that the buttons and screen options with the simplest interfaces were the most user-friendly for drivers. However, there are some buttons that make driving much simpler.
However, the website did mention that there are problematic buttons. According to the report, black buttons used by vehicles like the VW ID.4 and the Seat Leon made them “totally invisible at night,” making non-backlit controls a nightmare for users.