Touchscreens Perform Significantly Worse than Physical Buttons in new cars

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A test by the Swedish automotive magazine Vi Bilägare shows that safety-wise, physical buttons outperform touchscreens in new cars.

After a thorough test of the HMI system (Human-Machine Interface) in a total of twelve cars this summer, the driver in the worst-performing car needs four times longer to complete simple tasks in the best-performing car.

To conduct the study, Vi Bilägare gathered eleven modern cars from different manufacturers and an “old-school” car without a touchscreen at an airfield and measured the time it took a driver to perform various simple tasks such as changing the radio station or adjusting the climate control.

The results show that the 2005 Volvo V70 with physical button remain the easiest to operate and can complete the four tasks within ten seconds, during which the car is driven 306 meters at 110 km/h.

The Chinese MG Marvel R electric car is far worse: the driver needs 44.6 seconds to complete all tasks in which the car travelled 1,372 meters more than the old Volvo.

While the majority of modern touchscreen cars have no backlighting, voice control is also difficult to use and cannot control every function.

The sources for this piece include an article in ViBilägare.

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