November 23, 2017
Car companies have continuously taken huge initiatives to make the driving experience more comfortable and high tech. One of the new technologies many carmakers are employing are touch screens dashboards. It’s like having a tablet right in your car. From the dashboard, you can touch the screen and have control over your car’s settings and entertainment system. This sounds really awesome, right?
Car companies started putting in touchscreen dashboards to meet the high demand of consumers who wanted the technology in their cars. Car companies have made the claim that adding touchscreen dashboards will increase revenue and attract new customers. They have also managed to wave off safety concerns by saying that the dashboards come equipped with voice control so drivers never have to really take their eyes off the road. The dashboards also come with large buttons that will prevent drivers from messing with the small buttons on mobile phones. The current industry standard states that drivers will only have to look at the screens for 2 seconds at a time when completing tasks. 2 seconds seems like a good amount of time to complete any tasks you need to do, but many will argue that two seconds is all it takes to get into an accident.
Many skeptics feel that the dashboards still behave similar to smart phones. With models like the Audi A3, drivers can sync up their smartphones with the car and check social media notifications by having the information projected onto their dashboard that can be read out loud. Drivers even have the option of uploading photos. A spokesman for Audi said that adding in these features is a benefit to drivers; because if these features were not in the car, drivers would just be fumbling on their phones.
Despite some of the risks surrounding touchscreen dashboards, they do have some good qualities. Replacing the physical controls gives the car a sleeker and more modern look. Drivers will not have to fumble with physical buttons anymore. Instead, they just state their command and the car will follow along. Plus drivers will not have to look down at their phone all the time if they are using their GPS and do not have a phone mount installed in their car. While the benefits of the touchscreen may not outweigh the safety concerns as of now, hopefully the benefits will encourage car companies to create safer methods for touchscreen use, and maybe even send car companies on the quest to improve upon the already existing voice technology that is used to control the software.
Touchscreen dashboards have not been given much government regulation. However, many states forbid the use of non-navigational videos being played on the dashboard while driving. The federal standards simply require dashboards to have adjustable brightness settings. As the dashboards become more and more popular in the coming years, expect the government to step in and regulate the feature more to ensure that drivers will stay safe with this new innovation on the road.
Touchscreen dashboards are a very cool feature to have in a new vehicle. Despite some of the positive offerings, the fears of them being a safety concern are certainly valid. Giving up the touchscreen dashboard is not a popular solution, but hopefully with more testing, development, and some more regulations, the touchscreen dashboards can soon become safer and more trustworthy for people who still doubt the technology.