Mazda ditching touch screen controls 6/20/19

By Chris Johnson

According to Motor Authority, Mazda is removing touch screens from their future car models.

“Doing our research, when a driver would reach towards a touch-screen interface in any vehicle, they would unintentionally apply torque to the steering wheel, and the vehicle would drift out of its lane position,” said Matthew Valbuena, Mazda North America’s lead engineer for HMI and infotainment.

Instead, Mazda is switching to a HUD and tried and true physical knobs and buttons.

The head-up display that top trims of the Mazda 3 get is now projected onto the windshield. The amount of time it takes the eyes to focus on the head-up display is greatly reduced because it’s now focused on a point 7.5 feet ahead of the driver.

(...) Mazda is looking to add more simple, tactile controls into the cars. A quick tilt of the volume knob to the right or left goes forward or back single tracks—or holding it left or right fast-forwards it. A tap of the button mutes the system, and holding it down quickly turns off the screen and everything if it’s currently a distraction.

I’m hoping more car manufacturers follow Mazda’s lead here. It’s dangerous enough that drivers are often distracted by their phones, and lulled into a false sense of security by “autopilot” systems.