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(Ars Technica)   Where have all the buttons gone in cars? Took one guy two accidents to turn on the heat   (arstechnica.com) divider line
    More: Fail, Automobile, Touchscreen, Acura MDX, The Cars, new cars, Acura TL, Japan, Acura  
•       •       •

1915 clicks; posted to STEM » on 18 Aug 2022 at 10:55 PM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-08-18 5:55:01 PM  
♫ doot doo-doot, doot doo-doot, doot doo-doot, doot doo-doot ♫
 
2022-08-18 6:18:14 PM  

Imperfect Pixels: ♫ doot doo-doot, doot doo-doot, doot doo-doot, doot doo-doot ♫


Lou Reed?
 
2022-08-18 6:44:50 PM  
captainobvious.png

I can activate or adjust any of the controls on the dash of my '02 pickup truck day or night without taking my eyes off the road.

If I can't be trusted to use my phone while I'm driving why is a multi-menu touch screen ok?

Also, a big touch screen in the middle of the dash is just ugly.

/old
 
2022-08-18 6:49:31 PM  
Where have all the buttons gone, long time passing
Where have all the buttons gone, long time ago
Where have all the buttons gone
Gone to scrapyards, every one
Oh when will they ever learn
Oh when will they ever learn
 
2022-08-18 8:58:20 PM  
They'll come back and they'll call them revolutionary and charge you more for them.
 
2022-08-18 9:44:37 PM  
Remember when Jane Jetson gets depressed and had "buttonitis"?  That show was right, here we are. 
public.media.smithsonianmag.comView Full Size
 
2022-08-18 11:00:20 PM  
Ah, the good old days.....

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-18 11:15:06 PM  
I like buttons, knobs and switches for controls I may need to adjust when driving.  Being able to do this by feel without having to take my eyes off the road.
 
2022-08-18 11:16:08 PM  

RolandTGunner: captainobvious.png

I can activate or adjust any of the controls on the dash of my '02 pickup truck day or night without taking my eyes off the road.

If I can't be trusted to use my phone while I'm driving why is a multi-menu touch screen ok?

Also, a big touch screen in the middle of the dash is just ugly.

/old


My old man enforced this on me when I learned to drive in the 80s -- learn the dash by feel.  The one improvement is steering wheel controls for the radio.  Touch screens in newer cars drive me away from them.  I know the Chevy Bolt has physical buttons based on feedback from focus groups.
 
2022-08-18 11:21:50 PM  

Myk-House of El: I like buttons, knobs and switches for controls I may need to adjust when driving.  Being able to do this by feel without having to take my eyes off the road.


During WWII, large numbers of B-17s suffered crashes on landing. Pilots who survived were unable to explain anything they did wrong, but it continued to be written off as pilot error. Not until after the war was over was the problem realized: The handles for flaps and landing gear were identical... If the pilot during landing grabbed the flaps handle and didn't realize it because there was no tactile difference - such as at night - the plane would stall and crash. This led to the first use of the term "designer error."

Which is why today, every critical control in your car FEELS different.
 
2022-08-18 11:21:51 PM  

OffBeatCN: Imperfect Pixels: ♫ doot doo-doot, doot doo-doot, doot doo-doot, doot doo-doot ♫

Lou Reed?


That would be: 🎶 doot doo-doot doo-doot doot doo-doot doot🎶
 
2022-08-18 11:26:47 PM  
Who didn't really know this?

Everyone has moved to touchscreens, not for safety or function but for two major advantages,

A) They're flashy, they look impressive to someone looking to buy a new car
B) They're cheap, it's way cheaper to write an application than stamp out and assemble a bunch of mechanical parts.

And flashier on the floor with a lower BOM is every manufacturer's dream.
 
2022-08-18 11:29:55 PM  
cdn.arstechnica.netView Full Size
A designer thought looked good? It looks like when you move into a new cube at the office.
 
2022-08-18 11:37:45 PM  

dyhchong: Who didn't really know this?

Everyone has moved to touchscreens, not for safety or function but for two major advantages,

A) They're flashy, they look impressive to someone looking to buy a new car
B) They're cheap, it's way cheaper to write an application than stamp out and assemble a bunch of mechanical parts.

And flashier on the floor with a lower BOM is every manufacturer's dream.


Also, you can't get aftermarket parts for them. Others can make them, but they will run into IP issues
 
2022-08-18 11:40:12 PM  
Volume control should be a dial and nothing else. In fact, most every interface should be knob and switch-based.

fark buttons and fark touchscreens.
 
2022-08-18 11:51:51 PM  
Now do the test over again with an eye tracking camera...the results will be worse for the touchscreens.

I've had both a right and drive and left hand drive Saab 900/93 (effectively the same car).  Having the radio and A/C controls on my right work far better than on the left but I'm right handed.  It takes me more time and effort to turn on the defrost or turn off the radio when it is on my left. The radio isn't much of an issue since it has controls on the steering wheel but it is noticeably worse when I need to use the other radio controls.
 
2022-08-18 11:52:59 PM  
Got a new car last month and despite the iPad stuck on top of the dashboard still has volume and tuning knobs along with physical controls for the HVAC.

Lots of steering wheel button pressing to get through submenus such adjusting alert volumes and ADAS settings, although remote services gives tire pressures on the phone app. It's a big jump from the old car that had a cassette player and no Bluetooth.
 
2022-08-18 11:59:10 PM  
Having tactile feedback is a point well-taken but I've managed to get familiar enough with my touch systems to hardly need the slightest glance.

/maybe I sound young
//that'd be cool
 
2022-08-18 11:59:53 PM  

erik-k: Myk-House of El: I like buttons, knobs and switches for controls I may need to adjust when driving.  Being able to do this by feel without having to take my eyes off the road.

During WWII, large numbers of B-17s suffered crashes on landing. Pilots who survived were unable to explain anything they did wrong, but it continued to be written off as pilot error. Not until after the war was over was the problem realized: The handles for flaps and landing gear were identical... If the pilot during landing grabbed the flaps handle and didn't realize it because there was no tactile difference - such as at night - the plane would stall and crash. This led to the first use of the term "designer error."

Which is why today, every critical control in your car FEELS different.


Which is why I don't understand when people claim they hit the gas instead of the brake. They feel different under your foot, you should notice that. Not to mention that one is four inches to the left of the other.
 
2022-08-19 12:00:39 AM  

Pointy Tail of Satan: Ah, the good old days.....

[Fark user image image 600x475]


Modern version:
cars.usnews.comView Full Size
 
2022-08-19 12:04:42 AM  

DON.MAC: Now do the test over again with an eye tracking camera...the results will be worse for the touchscreens.

I've had both a right and drive and left hand drive Saab 900/93 (effectively the same car).  Having the radio and A/C controls on my right work far better than on the left but I'm right handed.  It takes me more time and effort to turn on the defrost or turn off the radio when it is on my left. The radio isn't much of an issue since it has controls on the steering wheel but it is noticeably worse when I need to use the other radio controls.


I've never driven an LHD vehicle, but my powers of proprioception rarely let me down in doing what I want to do without even needing to look at the buttons I'm pressing. And in terms of handedness, is it not preferable to keep your more dominant hand on the steering wheel?

The most farked up handedness related driving anecdote I have relates to a particular model of Peugeot van I had to drive for a bit. And the handbrake was on the right of the driver's seat, instead of being in the middle, like on every other RHD vehicle ever made. There were a couple of times I forgot to set the handbrake (but I always leave cars in gear, too, belt and braces and all that), But after driving that particular van for a day, guaranteed I'd be looking for the handbrake on the right in my own car when I got home.

Lot of muscle memory along with the proprioception, I guess.
 
2022-08-19 12:14:55 AM  

Ivo Shandor: Pointy Tail of Satan: Ah, the good old days.....

[Fark user image image 600x475]

Modern version:
[cars.usnews.com image 640x480]


Fark user imageView Full Size


Lincoln brought back the pushbutton automatic last decade, then almost immediately recalled them due to the start/stop engine button located too close to the other buttons.

Fark user imageView Full Size


This decade they've gone horizontal. Fords still get a twist knob.
 
2022-08-19 12:19:22 AM  
The Great Race Push the Button Max
Youtube xayMD-poO5U
 
2022-08-19 12:27:18 AM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: RolandTGunner: captainobvious.png

I can activate or adjust any of the controls on the dash of my '02 pickup truck day or night without taking my eyes off the road.

If I can't be trusted to use my phone while I'm driving why is a multi-menu touch screen ok?

Also, a big touch screen in the middle of the dash is just ugly.

/old

My old man enforced this on me when I learned to drive in the 80s -- learn the dash by feel.  The one improvement is steering wheel controls for the radio.  Touch screens in newer cars drive me away from them.  I know the Chevy Bolt has physical buttons based on feedback from focus groups.


I got a bolt over the model 3 specifically because of the buttons and knobs.
 
2022-08-19 12:32:23 AM  
Touch screens are cheap.  Buttons and the supporting hardware are not.  It is why the new Toyota EV has a touch screen but the Lexus version uses a ton of buttons instead.
 
2022-08-19 12:38:44 AM  
The trouble with buttons is they always fall off.

Just bought a 2022 Mercedes it has buttons, or you can use the touchpad or you can use the screen.

I like being able to choose the display.
 
2022-08-19 12:38:51 AM  

RolandTGunner: captainobvious.png

I can activate or adjust any of the controls on the dash of my '02 pickup truck day or night without taking my eyes off the road.

If I can't be trusted to use my phone while I'm driving why is a multi-menu touch screen ok?

Also, a big touch screen in the middle of the dash is just ugly.

/old


Yeah, the one I bolded is a biggie. I'm dreading the day I have to buy a new car because of this crap. It's bad enough that the only choices I have for a phone OS are iOS and Android and I don't like either of them - I sure as hell don't want that crap, or anything close to it, controlling my car. I'd much rather have a button for everything, and every button in its place.
 
2022-08-19 12:42:01 AM  

centrifugal bumblepuppy: Ivo Shandor: Pointy Tail of Satan: Ah, the good old days.....

[Fark user image image 600x475]

Modern version:
[cars.usnews.com image 640x480]

[Fark user image 500x333]

Lincoln brought back the pushbutton automatic last decade, then almost immediately recalled them due to the start/stop engine button located too close to the other buttons.

[Fark user image 850x567]

This decade they've gone horizontal. Fords still get a twist knob.


Drove one of these for a while:
cars.usnews.comView Full Size


Hated it. Too itchy from 0. Everything was just unnecessarily bulky. And the shifter as seen above was garbage. Never pressed engine stop but it's just completely unnatural looking over and pressing them arm fully extended. Like you're some sort of exaggerated cartoon villain executing your "hack".

Very fun car, at fun driving times, a nuisance rest of the time.
 
2022-08-19 12:47:26 AM  
I passed on a recently test-driven Mach 3 Mustang.  It had a ridiculously large central console screen that controlled everything.  You glance over and you see like 50 tiny buttons and widgets and you're like "No, no farking way I'm touching anything."  I finally tried just turning on the AC while I drove, because I wanted to see if it would effect the battery draw in a 5 mile drive, but I gave up after three attempts at it and taking my eyes off the road to accomplish nothing.  There's no physical or aural feedback, no way to tell if you're pressing the correct area of the screen.

Next I tried the voice commands.

It was a farking worse voice recognition system than my farking comcast remote.  I mean, shiat really?  I felt like those Scots in the elevator voice recognition sketch. 4-5 tries and I just gave up.  Salesguy was like "I'm sure they'll patch that..." LMAO.  Yeah sure they will.

Ultimately, if you can't reach over and flip a switch for AC/radio/rear defrost  you've lost a shiatton of road awareness in trade-off and that just sucks for everyone's safety on the road.
 
2022-08-19 12:49:24 AM  
Oops "Mach E" not "3", Mach three is my razor!
 
2022-08-19 1:01:32 AM  

dyhchong: centrifugal bumblepuppy: Ivo Shandor: Pointy Tail of Satan: Ah, the good old days.....

[Fark user image image 600x475]

Modern version:
[cars.usnews.com image 640x480]

[Fark user image 500x333]

Lincoln brought back the pushbutton automatic last decade, then almost immediately recalled them due to the start/stop engine button located too close to the other buttons.

[Fark user image 850x567]

This decade they've gone horizontal. Fords still get a twist knob.

Drove one of these for a while:
[cars.usnews.com image 776x517]

Hated it. Too itchy from 0. Everything was just unnecessarily bulky. And the shifter as seen above was garbage. Never pressed engine stop but it's just completely unnatural looking over and pressing them arm fully extended. Like you're some sort of exaggerated cartoon villain executing your "hack".

Very fun car, at fun driving times, a nuisance rest of the time.


I like the Honda design. The buttons are shaped and placed so that it's very clear which one you are pressing, and it's well away from the on/off button.
 
2022-08-19 1:18:34 AM  

Ivo Shandor: I like the Honda design. The buttons are shaped and placed so that it's very clear which one you are pressing, and it's well away from the on/off button.


I still most prefer the classics, huge shifter with heavy noises and movements every time you hit a sensible point, and if there's different modes, have them stepped. And just in case, a letter on the dashboard to say what you're in.

My old EV had one, and my girlfriends new EV has one as well. And it's just something you take to like a duck and water.

j-spec.com.auView Full Size


blogcdn.comView Full Size


The Nissan/Toyota electric shifter is probably a fine compromise but I've never owned one long term:
inhabitat.comView Full Size


cars.usnews.comView Full Size
 
2022-08-19 1:24:53 AM  

dyhchong: Ivo Shandor: I like the Honda design. The buttons are shaped and placed so that it's very clear which one you are pressing, and it's well away from the on/off button.

I still most prefer the classics, huge shifter with heavy noises and movements every time you hit a sensible point, and if there's different modes, have them stepped. And just in case, a letter on the dashboard to say what you're in.

My old EV had one, and my girlfriends new EV has one as well. And it's just something you take to like a duck and water.

[j-spec.com.au image 630x420]

[blogcdn.com image 200x133]

The Nissan/Toyota electric shifter is probably a fine compromise but I've never owned one long term:
[inhabitat.com image 728x450]

[cars.usnews.com image 640x480]


It only took me a couple of days to get used to the buttons. There's no transmission attached to the electric motor so no need for any sort of mechanical linkage. You want to drive, push D. You want to go backwards, pull on R. Why complicate things?
 
2022-08-19 1:27:52 AM  

bingethinker: erik-k: Myk-House of El: I like buttons, knobs and switches for controls I may need to adjust when driving.  Being able to do this by feel without having to take my eyes off the road.

During WWII, large numbers of B-17s suffered crashes on landing. Pilots who survived were unable to explain anything they did wrong, but it continued to be written off as pilot error. Not until after the war was over was the problem realized: The handles for flaps and landing gear were identical... If the pilot during landing grabbed the flaps handle and didn't realize it because there was no tactile difference - such as at night - the plane would stall and crash. This led to the first use of the term "designer error."

Which is why today, every critical control in your car FEELS different.

Which is why I don't understand when people claim they hit the gas instead of the brake. They feel different under your foot, you should notice that. Not to mention that one is four inches to the left of the other.


Some guys just think an inch is a lot longer than it actually is.

/not me though
 
2022-08-19 1:37:40 AM  

iron de havilland: DON.MAC: Now do the test over again with an eye tracking camera...the results will be worse for the touchscreens.

I've had both a right and drive and left hand drive Saab 900/93 (effectively the same car).  Having the radio and A/C controls on my right work far better than on the left but I'm right handed.  It takes me more time and effort to turn on the defrost or turn off the radio when it is on my left. The radio isn't much of an issue since it has controls on the steering wheel but it is noticeably worse when I need to use the other radio controls.

I've never driven an LHD vehicle, but my powers of proprioception rarely let me down in doing what I want to do without even needing to look at the buttons I'm pressing. And in terms of handedness, is it not preferable to keep your more dominant hand on the steering wheel?

The most farked up handedness related driving anecdote I have relates to a particular model of Peugeot van I had to drive for a bit. And the handbrake was on the right of the driver's seat, instead of being in the middle, like on every other RHD vehicle ever made. There were a couple of times I forgot to set the handbrake (but I always leave cars in gear, too, belt and braces and all that), But after driving that particular van for a day, guaranteed I'd be looking for the handbrake on the right in my own car when I got home.

Lot of muscle memory along with the proprioception, I guess.


You sound Limey
 
2022-08-19 1:54:43 AM  

Pointy Tail of Satan: Ah, the good old days.....

[Fark user image image 600x475]


jfc

Stick or automatic, please. Whatever that is needs and old mechanic and a young mechanic
 
2022-08-19 1:56:01 AM  

Myk-House of El: I like buttons, knobs and switches for controls I may need to adjust when driving.  Being able to do this by feel without having to take my eyes off the road.


Fiddling with the buttons while driving has almost gotten me into an accident several times.
i.imgur.comView Full Size
 
2022-08-19 2:16:35 AM  
The US Navy is ditching touch screens for control of their ships and going back to manual controls because the touch screens were one of the causes for a number of accidents.

The most insane bit of automation I've heard about in modern cars is for the Porsche Taycan; to move the air vents, one must do so through the touch screen.
 
2022-08-19 2:37:54 AM  

RolandTGunner: captainobvious.png

I can activate or adjust any of the controls on the dash of my '02 pickup truck day or night without taking my eyes off the road.

If I can't be trusted to use my phone while I'm driving why is a multi-menu touch screen ok?

Also, a big touch screen in the middle of the dash is just ugly.

/old


The anecdotes aren't equal to data.

People also think essential oils are captain obvious, too.
 
2022-08-19 2:43:55 AM  
Replace human drivers. Solved.
 
2022-08-19 3:11:39 AM  

bingethinker: erik-k: Myk-House of El: I like buttons, knobs and switches for controls I may need to adjust when driving.  Being able to do this by feel without having to take my eyes off the road.

During WWII, large numbers of B-17s suffered crashes on landing. Pilots who survived were unable to explain anything they did wrong, but it continued to be written off as pilot error. Not until after the war was over was the problem realized: The handles for flaps and landing gear were identical... If the pilot during landing grabbed the flaps handle and didn't realize it because there was no tactile difference - such as at night - the plane would stall and crash. This led to the first use of the term "designer error."

Which is why today, every critical control in your car FEELS different.

Which is why I don't understand when people claim they hit the gas instead of the brake. They feel different under your foot, you should notice that. Not to mention that one is four inches to the left of the other.


There are some models of vehicle in which I can do that. Not one instead of the other, but inadvertently depressing both at once. If you're trying to come to a quick stop, it doesn't work well. Size 12 EE may have something to do with it. I'm not quite so old or asleep at the switch that I can't quickly diagnose the problem and take action to resolve it before I've driven through a Farmer's Market, but not everybody can say that. Also, one of the complications of the 'beetus so many Americans get is peripheral neuropathy, in which people cease receiving nerve signals from their extremities. If you can't feel your feet, how do you tell exactly where they are, or what shape a pedal is? Not that this is necessarily a defense of those people. There are a whole lot of people on the road who shouldn't have licenses. If you can't feel your feet, maybe you should only be allowed to drive one of those cars set up to be operated by paraplegics.
 
2022-08-19 3:57:56 AM  
Touchscreens are pure evil.  Up there with cell phones in terms of distracted driving.

I have had so many close calls with douchebags finger farking screens.
 
2022-08-19 4:01:25 AM  
Come to think of it, EVs have no reason besides familiarity (which is admittedly a massive reason) not to just put the gas/brake on the steering wheel.


/I meant to mash L2, but I wound up stamping my feet like a dumbass instead, officer.
 
2022-08-19 4:03:03 AM  
The Ram 1500's I drive at work have a knob on the dash to switch gears.  I farkING HATE IT.
 
2022-08-19 4:04:04 AM  

MythDragon: Myk-House of El: I like buttons, knobs and switches for controls I may need to adjust when driving.  Being able to do this by feel without having to take my eyes off the road.

Fiddling with the buttons while driving has almost gotten me into an accident several times.
[i.imgur.com image 564x705]


I can see how that could be an issue.
 
2022-08-19 4:04:59 AM  
What's in the Dodge Ram.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-19 4:08:41 AM  

BunkyBrewman: What's in the Dodge Ram.

[Fark user image 640x425]


Yep, that's the one.  I hate that damned thing.  Ram's in general, I guess.
 
2022-08-19 4:11:57 AM  

Nullav: Come to think of it, EVs have no reason besides familiarity (which is admittedly a massive reason) not to just put the gas/brake on the steering wheel.


/I meant to mash L2, but I wound up stamping my feet like a dumbass instead, officer.


You want to put the gas and or brake on the steering wheel which has around 1080 degrees of rotation? Why?
 
2022-08-19 4:28:01 AM  
Have you seen this monstrosity in the new Ford Mustang EV hatchback? I barely tolerate an air freshener tree on my rear view mirror, let alone an enormous visual obstruction.
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-19 4:31:12 AM  

AppleOptionEsc: Nullav: Come to think of it, EVs have no reason besides familiarity (which is admittedly a massive reason) not to just put the gas/brake on the steering wheel.


/I meant to mash L2, but I wound up stamping my feet like a dumbass instead, officer.

You want to put the gas and or brake on the steering wheel which has around 1080 degrees of rotation? Why?


It doesn't always need to have that kind of range of rotation. "Drive-by-wire steering" is a phrase that probably makes a few people momentarily try to close their eyes think happy thoughts, but I could see that being used to make a really responsive wheel that can only rotate like 45°.

And if you've ever had a leg/foot injury that makes driving suck, I bet there's probably some level of agreement that there could at least be multiple input options for that with a toggle mechanism so you can use wheel controls until things heal up, or just get a mostly-ready car without modification if you just plain don't have working legs.

/But I am admittedly very short-sighted on a lot of stuff, so that applies.
 
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