Touchscreens are at the frontlines of technology and is now a trend in the automotive industry. You see it being integrated into almost everything, from phones all the way to refrigerator doors. The new method of controls allows for a more customizable experience and with greater possibilities for better user interfaces. But there is a limit to its applications especially when it comes to driver’s safety.
One such company that is trying to avoid that new technology is Honda. The Japanese company has shifted its focus away from touchscreen technology and has decided to revert back to the good old dial and knob controls. This can be seen in the Japanese brand’s latest vehicle the 2020 Fit. Honda states that Fit is intended to be on a “globally-accepted standard” and the vehicle seems to be staying true to that with the use of physical buttons.
When asked about why the company chose to go with the use of physical buttons Jazz project director Takeki Tanaka had this to say.
We changed it from touchscreen to dial operation, as we received customer feedback that it was difficult to operate intuitively. You had to look at the screen to change the heater setting, therefore, we changed it so one can operate it without looking, giving more confidence while driving.
It goes to show that even with touchscreen technology advancing quickly, it might not be the right kind of technology for better user experience. While the Honda Fit still does have a touchscreen it is relegated to the infotainment system only. With that in mind, the vehicle still uses physical buttons for its most important functions striking a balance between digital and analog technology. Honda shifting back to knobs and buttons could indicate that the car industry might want to reconsider the use of touchscreen technology for everything.