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Distracted Driving with a monitor

Kipp

Member
Mar 28, 2016
116
121
Seattle
I've been showing off my Model 3 for the last month that I have had it and recently one of the people looking at it was wondering when the first case of distracted driving was going to make it to the courts for these cars with large (and potentially small) monitors as a primary human/car interface. Has anyone heard of such a case going to court?

My response to this question was that many cars these days have screens/monitors that have touch or other interfaces that require the driver to interact with it to change various settings while driving. One of the main use cases is GPS navigation. Of course, interacting with these interfaces before you start driving is preferred but I'm certain there are many times people do this while actually driving. I also mentioned that when you are operating a radio, with all of the physical buttons, it is not much different than pushing a couple of locations on a screen. It is similar with the climate control, IMO. I honestly don't feel I'm distracted much but my wife thinks the newness of the car does contribute some distraction just trying to find various settings. I'd still think this is an issue with any new car's user interface whether it be full screen, buttons or a combination of both.

There are definitely times when navigating through some setting (like to change form % battery remaining to miles remaining) that require way too many button presses. I'd suggest Tesla just toggle those value when you press the battery/miles/% in the upper right of the driving portion of the screen.
 

Ruby Red

Member
Apr 16, 2018
18
20
Los Angeles, CA
I've been showing off my Model 3 for the last month that I have had it and recently one of the people looking at it was wondering when the first case of distracted driving was going to make it to the courts for these cars with large (and potentially small) monitors as a primary human/car interface. Has anyone heard of such a case going to court?

My response to this question was that many cars these days have screens/monitors that have touch or other interfaces that require the driver to interact with it to change various settings while driving. One of the main use cases is GPS navigation. Of course, interacting with these interfaces before you start driving is preferred but I'm certain there are many times people do this while actually driving. I also mentioned that when you are operating a radio, with all of the physical buttons, it is not much different than pushing a couple of locations on a screen. It is similar with the climate control, IMO. I honestly don't feel I'm distracted much but my wife thinks the newness of the car does contribute some distraction just trying to find various settings. I'd still think this is an issue with any new car's user interface whether it be full screen, buttons or a combination of both.

There are definitely times when navigating through some setting (like to change form % battery remaining to miles remaining) that require way too many button presses. I'd suggest Tesla just toggle those value when you press the battery/miles/% in the upper right of the driving portion of the screen.
 

Ruby Red

Member
Apr 16, 2018
18
20
Los Angeles, CA
I thought it was going to be in issue driving without the traditional speedometers and gauges but I have found the screen to be quite intuitive and second nature with minimal distractions. Afterall it's like using your phone. Thought I agree fine tuning on your screen should be done while parked.
 

Trips

"Boring bonehead questions are not cool. Next?"
Sep 22, 2015
1,224
1,455
Omaha, NE
I believe that all vehicles will be required to have a screen in the next year or two for the rear view camera. I have driven with a screen for 8 years now and never noticed an issue. When I drive my old pickup with with no technology, I think I am more distracted especially with the crank windows.
 
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cella

Member
Aug 17, 2017
115
153
San Jose, CA
My response to this question was that many cars these days have screens/monitors that have touch or other interfaces that require the driver to interact with it to change various settings while driving. One of the main use cases is GPS navigation. Of course, interacting with these interfaces before you start driving is preferred but I'm certain there are many times people do this while actually driving.
Most cars restrict access to more complicated interactions on the screen while the vehicle is moving. Tesla, for whatever reason, is one of the few exceptions.
I also mentioned that when you are operating a radio, with all of the physical buttons, it is not much different than pushing a couple of locations on a screen. It is similar with the climate control, IMO.
It's a lot different. For one, physical buttons don't move, while the UI elements on a screen constantly change. This means you cannot rely on muscle memory as much and have to look at the screen to make sure you're in the right menu. The other thing is that buttons provide tactile feedback, so you don't have to keep looking at the screen to see if your action was successful (this is one reason why some manufacturers keep using click wheels or similar for user input instead of touch screens BTW). I found some of the smaller UI elements on the Model 3 screen particularly problematic in that regard, since you never quite know if you hit them without looking.
 
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insaneoctane

Active Member
Apr 6, 2016
3,749
8,912
Southern California
Great read on the AAA "Visual and Cognitive Demands of Using In-Vehicle Infotainment Systems": http://publicaffairsresources.aaa.biz/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/CDST_Final_Report.pdf

And a TL;DR summary: Which cars are most distracting? AAA study reveals offenders

And another sutdy from CR: The Most and Least Distracting Infotainment Systems

Excellent read. They only tested the Model S in the AAA study. Tesla did well in some areas, not great in others (and ultimately got a poor score). Here's a screenshot of an example of poor performance in "Visual Demand"....
visual demand tesla 2018-04-30_11-23-42.png
 
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dwolvin

Member
Mar 31, 2018
70
45
Santee, CA
Interesting, I can't wait for more models to get added. My 3 isn't hard to use, but I also take driving seriously and don't often fiddle with any controls while driving... And I already can run wiper override without looking 90% of the time. :)
 
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SDKoala

Model 3 LR RWD
Apr 11, 2018
867
979
San Diego
Most cars restrict access to more complicated interactions on the screen while the vehicle is moving. Tesla, for whatever reason, is one of the few exceptions.
It's a lot different. For one, physical buttons don't move, while the UI elements on a screen constantly change. This means you cannot rely on muscle memory as much and have to look at the screen to make sure you're in the right menu. The other thing is that buttons provide tactile feedback, so you don't have to keep looking at the screen to see if your action was successful (this is one reason why some manufacturers keep using click wheels or similar for user input instead of touch screens BTW). I found some of the smaller UI elements on the Model 3 screen particularly problematic in that regard, since you never quite know if you hit them without looking.

Completely agree. The HVAC is especially difficult to adjust with the small arrows and the need to go to a sub-screen to have any manual control. A lot of this could be addressed by voice command. I'd be shocked if we didn't see this expand from navigation, media, and phone controls to car functions at some point in the future.
  • "Hey Tesla, set the temperature to 73 degrees and turn on the front blowers to high."
  • "Hey Tesla, turn on the driver's seat warmers to medium."
  • "Hey Tesla, set my wipers to auto."
  • "Hey Tesla, switch to Chill mode."
 

insaneoctane

Active Member
Apr 6, 2016
3,749
8,912
Southern California
I might be in the minority but I generally don't use voice commands because I am too lazy to reduce the ambient noise (radio, occupants, etc) and most voice recognition does poorly with competing noise. While I sometimes use voice commands they are not the holy grail for me
 
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fluxemag

Member
Jan 10, 2013
477
188
Portland, OR
I find the screen in the 3 pretty distracting, mostly because the right scroll wheel isn't configurable and there's not enough screen real estate to show everything I would like to see at one time. The clock and the temp should be bigger and on the left, as well as some fixed location efficiency number. The tiles you have to swipe between take too much attention. Usually I like to drive with the rear camera on so I can see blind spots, but I have to toggle it off to do anything with nav or music, and then back on. And seeing trip time and efficiency is on a different tile than wipers and camera, so I'm messing with that too. Being able to at minimum change the temp without looking would be great.
 

SDKoala

Model 3 LR RWD
Apr 11, 2018
867
979
San Diego
I might be in the minority but I generally don't use voice commands because I am too lazy to reduce the ambient noise (radio, occupants, etc) and most voice recognition does poorly with competing noise. While I sometimes use voice commands they are not the holy grail for me

The radio automatically mutes when voice command is activated and the cabin is really quiet. Hopefully your occupants would be able not to talk for a few seconds.
 
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BerTX

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
May 2, 2014
3,505
3,647
Texas/Washington
I might be in the minority but I generally don't use voice commands because I am too lazy to reduce the ambient noise (radio, occupants, etc) and most voice recognition does poorly with competing noise. While I sometimes use voice commands they are not the holy grail for me
I think that's half the fun of the voice recognition -- seeing what it comes up with when there is someone else talking at the same time as I'm giving the command. Maybe it's just me. :D
 

Zythryn

Model Y custom Warming Stripes wrap.
Mar 18, 2009
2,182
1,278
Minnesota
I find the controls in the Model 3 less distracting than other vehicles.
I do agree, as more controls become accessible via the steering wheel controls or voice, it will get even better.
 

mhan00

Active Member
Oct 13, 2014
1,304
1,706
Southern California
Multitouch gesture controls would be very nice with the multitouch screen. Two, three, and four fingered swipes up/down or left/right can be configured to do different things so the driver can adjust volume, fan speed, skip songs, etc. It would be better if the gestures could be customized by the driver.
 
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Candleflame

Active Member
Mar 9, 2015
3,290
1,775
QLD, Australia
Half of this stuff wouldn't be an issue if the Model 3's buttons would be freely mapable. You have essentially 1 button, 1 scrollwheel and left/right on each side which would give you more than enough control to do whatever you please.
Navigation can just be entered/changed using voice commands.
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,081
6,644
Austin, TX
Oh I do, and they know to be quiet if they want the car to play another song that they want.
When mine were 3 & 5, as soon as they would hear the beep in the Acura voice recognition, they would start calling out instructions from the back seat.

Temperature one million
Play barney
Go to grandmas

Rented a Nissan for spring break. Found its system far more distracting. Sure, it cut out some features when moving. But still lots of buttons n pressed to do anything.
 

CWFLY

Member
May 9, 2018
68
61
San Diego
On the Tesla, I find it's hard to press the buttons because the car is moving and there is nothing to rest my forearm on. Add to that, I don't want to "watch" as I press the buttons because it distracts me from the road.

I've found a partial solution. When pushing buttons, I wrap my fingers over the top of the display screen, and press the buttons with my thumb. Once I see where the button is, I don't have to watch myself hit the spot.
 
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