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Touchscreen practical while driving? Safety issue?

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by thomas.rueesch, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. thomas.rueesch

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    Hi

    I was wondering if the touchscreen, which Idea I like, is practical while driving.
    - The SatNav...most todays have touchscreen...but you don't go changing the settings a lot while driving = OK
    - The Radio...I hope we'll get steering wheel buttons...because I'd hate to search the Position on the Touchscreen = ?

    With hard knobs & buttons, like we have today, you will find without having to look....on a touchscreen you always have to look,
    and take your eyes off the street...this is a safety issue.

    Have you got any experience on this?
     
  2. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers Total Smeghead

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    The touchscreen in my opinion is one of the big faults in the Model S. I know they tried to be cool and hip a la Apple, but honestly, in a car such a concept is simply crap.
    As you said, changing settings by using knobs and buttons is something you can do without looking. Even a blind person could set the right settings just by feeling the buttons. With a touchscreen that is impossible, you always have to look.

    Apart from safety issues it is also a nuisance to have to take several steps on a touchcreen for some simple task like switching on the lights, changing radio stations or climate control settings.

    It started with idiotic systems like BMW iDrive and the like, and it keeps getting worse. Making simple tasks more complicated by using "cool" interface devices that no one really needs is the wrong way imho.
     
  3. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers Total Smeghead

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    And that doesn't even take into account the problems you get from reflections in the display, a problem that exists on a smaller scale even in conventional cars like our VW Touran, that has a very small touchscreen interface for the radio/telephone/satnav.

    When the sun shines from an awkward angle, you can hardly read anything on that display.

    I think Tesla should have stayed with conventional knob/button configurations and rather should have installed a HUD like the ones available in most modern premium sedans.
    Head up displays are a real safety advantage, in contrast to pseudo-cool interfaces that pose a rather hefty safety hazard.
     
  4. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I tend to agree. As 'cool' as the screen is I much prefer real knobs and buttons. I think that these devices are now less expensive to manufacture. Especially with Tesla's rapid development schedule. They just can't design a dash, get all the mechanicals together and assembled cheaper than 2 GUI guys hammering out an interface to all their controls which are already in the onboard computer.

    As much as I despise stalk mounted light controls. I am hoping for them. I would really like a volume knob. And probably would like AC controls to be physical (but could probably handle them on a screen). Other than volume and lights and occasionally adjusting the AC, I really don't touch anything else except FM presets. But that is rare. And without a CD player getting to a proper song on a 'library' you can't really do tactility.

    And what about window controls? I hope I don't have to use a screen to get my windows up when it starts pouring rain. I assume there are controls on the doors. And control of all 4 on the drivers door. Is this so?
     
  5. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers Total Smeghead

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    At least as far as window controls are concerned I am positive that I saw a picture of the Beta somewhere, where you could clearly see the window controls just as you would expect them in any conventional vehicle, that is as in buttons for all four doors.
     
  6. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    #6 AnOutsider, Feb 21, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
    By some of these comments, you'd think you all want us stuck in the days of single line blue text and 2 knobs. Tesla's screen I huge, but it isn't the first time there's been a touch interface in a car. For me, personally, I find the touch screen better and more intuitive for navigating the system than a bunch of buttons.

    Also, the blind person comment is a little off no? A blind person wouldn't be driving, and even as a passenger they wouldn't just know what the knob did off the bat (granted if they ride I'm the car often they'd learn).

    El supreme, there's a volume rocker on the steering wheel, which is better than the touchscreen (or center console knob) for the driver. As for lights, nothing confirmed, but what I've seen of the system so far seems to have replaced the auto/DRL/fog switches on traditional cars. I'd imagine there would need to be something quicker to access (like a stalk) for flashing your high beams etc.
     
  7. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    I'm fairly certain that we will see the following physical controls:
    • Window up/down buttons on each door
    • Side-view mirror controls on driver's door
    • One steering column stalk controlling turn signals and high beams, but not headlight setting
    • Another stalk controlling cruise control
    • A third stalk controlling "gear" (PRND)
    • Mounted on the steering wheel: controls for climate, voice command, answer phone, and audio controls (track up/down, volume up/down)
    • Horn mid-steering wheel
    • Emergency blinker button, left of the console
    • Glove compartment latch, right of the console
    • Seat adjustment controls, below seat cushion, outer edge (this was confirmed by a Tesla rep)
    Headlights have an "auto" setting; in my experience with similar gear, I almost never need to take it off "auto". Good Q, tho', re fog lights.

    Remember, too, that the Model S will have extensive voice command technology. I have a healthy skepticism about how well this will work; my experience has been that the tech is very hit-or-miss, though I expect that a lot of the issues are from cabin noise--so, I hope, the tech will work better in the Model S. I imagine that, somewhere in Silicon Valley, Tesla was able to find good programmers for this feature.
     
  8. PV4EV

    PV4EV Member

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    #8 PV4EV, Feb 21, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
    I like the look of the touch screen, even if it does rather obviously look like someone's jammed a laptop into the dash !


    I've not seen a Model S close up, and I do not know what it controls or what design steps are being taken to make the screen usable in a moving car but I have some concerns regarding practicality as raised in a previous thread, namely :-

    - If the screen coating is anything like an iPad, Sony PSP, most touchphones, etc, then I foresee it becoming covered in fingerprints pretty quick and I am forever polishing my iphone screen.

    - Here in the UK, the roads are covered in potholes and bumps, so hovering a finger over one touch icon whilst also stabilising my hand with a thumb on the screen edge, could lead to accidentally pressing the wrong icon. Its bad enough with just my phone at present. It'll be interesting to see how the GUI design mitigates this. I imagine Tesla are using good old fashioned tactile buttons and switches for important car controls and leaving the touchsreen for audio/media/satnav/info screens etc ..

    - What if you have a child in the front seat … and they decide to drag a sticky doughnut down the big pretty screen …. ?! If you've got young kids and you've put them in a half decent car you'll probably know what I mean ..

    - Is there going to be any attempt at a voice control interface for any features ?

    - Hopefully the software is not powered by anything to do with Microsoft … imagine a blue screen of death needing a big reset button and a 2 minute reboot … ( Joking - I seriously doubt this will be the case !!!)


    Below is a photo of a sticky touchscreen in a Model S Beta :-

    WhiteBetacarstickyscreen.jpg
     
  9. setritt

    setritt p6652

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    One thing to remember is that Applecame out with a mouse and everyone thought that was ridiculous and crap. They then came out with a touchscreen. What I'm getting at is that time will tell and we ought to drive the car before throwing it out as an awful idea
     
  10. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    Good thing there is room on the floor in this car for a bottle of windex, and a roll of paper towels! :biggrin:

    I do really hope for physical headlight/foglight physical controls. I tend to manipulate these a lot. And I am really attached with the way my current headlights operate, so I want the Tesla to be the same. I just hope there is an 'always on' mode for headlamps.
     
  11. W.Petefish

    W.Petefish Active Member

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    The screen will probably have an option for locking the screen for a min to clean. (I know that the thermostats in my house do, my iPad does, my android phone does, so it would make sense that they'd have thought of this.)
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    From what I saw on the beta, controls you are likely to access while driving had simple displays with nice big buttons, so I don't think operating them will be a big deal.
     
  13. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Tesla has addressed this. I was at the Santana Row store yesterday (shout out to Alex) and specifically asked about glare. There is a daytime setting that changes the colors/brightness that is proven to handle bright sun.
     
  14. tray loader

    tray loader Member

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    It´s all about having tactile feedback.Once You have that you can easily reduce "feature buttons".This is coming big way to phones/iPads etc. where this is needed for faster access to submenus and of course feeling the letter while you type.
    The question remains though if this will make it in time to the Model S, otherwise they will have to bring the key menus to the steering wheel.
     
  15. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers Total Smeghead

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    But a car is something very different than a computer. If you make a mistake there, no problem. But if you are travelling along the Autobahn at 100+ miles per hour and you need to take your eyes of the road to fiddle with a touchscreen, that can be lethal - and not just for you and your family.

    I don't think the Model S is an awful idea, quite the contrary. I just think the touchscreen is a very bad idea, and very unnecessary too. I know it looks cool, but there are no practical reasons for it and all too many issues as raised by several people already.

    I personally can't understand the fascination with touchscreens anyway. The might work for smartphone and some other household appliances or Pad-style computers. But other than that they don't offer anything that traditional controls can't - especially in something as safety-critical as a car!
     
  16. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers Total Smeghead

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    When it comes to cars, then yes, I prefer to be stuck with controls that work in a tried and trusted manner. I don't think something as potentially lethal as a car should be turned into a gadget for techno-freaks. It's nice and refreshing that Tesla is trying to be cutting-edge in several areas, but they should not forget that in the end, people want a car with high usability - not the one with the coolest looks. Or perhaps that is just true for people outside the US, I don't know. But many of us in the "Old world" seem to like tradtional ways of doing things ;-)
     
  17. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers Total Smeghead

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    Thanks for the info. That is reassuring to know.
     
  18. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    They already have. There are controls on the steering wheel. You can also turn off the big screen and just use the small one directly over the wheel.

    I think all this fuss about the 17" touchscreen is much ado about nothing. It is not necessary to use it to drive the car. Turn it off.
     
  19. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    I have gone from negative to neutral on the touch-screen. I just want to make sure that all essential functions are available manually and I can still get home even if the screen goes out (be it by manufacturing fault or if some punk decides to jam a screwdriver in the center).

    That includes being able to operate lights, windows and panoramic roof (which I don't think anyone mentioned yet)...
     
  20. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers Total Smeghead

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    Would love to. But then how do you control the headlights? Or the air-con? I'm sure there are no controls for that on the steering column.
    And because someone talked about stalks on the steering column: should that be the solution - several stalks on the column to address all the main functions? Not really.
     

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