The latest test shows that Volvo dominates the internal controls in terms of ease of use.
according to in BellagarVolvo’s interior control design has consistently outperformed many competitors in terms of ease of use. Furthermore, testing found that the physical controls (buttons, knobs, and switches) consistently outperformed touchscreens and tactile options.
Tests conducted by the Swedish car site tested 12 vehicles for their ability to accomplish a variety of tasks while traveling at high speeds on the highways. The four tests included;
- Turn on the seat heater, increase the cab heating by two degrees, and start the defroster.
- Turn on the radio and go to the “Sweden Program 1” station.
- Reset the trip computer.
- Lower the device’s brightness to the lowest setting and turn off the center display.
Vi Bilägare continually carried out the tests and the driver’s timing had finished the tasks; Once completed, the vehicle’s distance traveled at 110 kilometers per hour was measured.
Vehicles tested include the 2005 Volvo V70, Volvo C40, Volkswagen ID.3, Tesla Model 3, Subaru Outback, Seat Leon, Nissan Qashqai, MG Marvel R, Mercedes GLB, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Dacia Sandero and BMW iX. And to the surprise of anyone who drove a Volvo in the mid-2000s, the old V70 dominated the comparison.
In completing all the tests, the 2005 Volvo took just 10 seconds and traveled 306 metres. The MG Marvel R took the longest time at 44.9 seconds. Every vehicle measured, except for the Volvo C40, took twice as long as a 2005 Volvo, meaning drivers were paying less attention to the road for a longer period of time, resulting in a less safe experience.
On top of the fact that the touchscreens tested took much longer than the physical controls, some of them took the driver’s attention away from the road. In the case of the MG Marvel R, the driver had to look down a lot more than the other vehicles.
Credit: Glenn Lindberg/Ve Bellagar
Why do manufacturers dedicate touch screens, touch devices, and voice controls? The researchers point out a few ideas. Above all cost. Manufacturers can make their cars more cost-effective by removing physical controls and concentrating them on a single touchscreen. However, the interior design also plays a role, as designers want to create a “clean” driving environment. Finally, some consumers view car buttons as outdated technology compared to touch screens and touch controls, despite their poor performance in getting things done.
The Tesla Model 3 performed great, but it will be interesting to see if the different Tesla models perform differently from each other, especially if there is a difference between the dual-screen Model S and other vehicles. Furthermore, it might be interesting to see how various UI changes can affect this test. There are many ways in which touch screen controls can be improved through software improvements. Hopefully, automakers can make future changes to continue improving the user interface and limiting how long drivers take their eyes off the road.
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