Torque Talk: Keeping in touch

In-car entertainment has come a long way since the days of 8-track stereos, and the classic 1980s head unit with “graphic equaliser” which could either improve or drastically lower the tone of your favourite track. By Ben Selby.

Now, it’s becoming more common to a have a new car with a touchscreen infotainment system, Apple/Android connectivity and all manner of luxe additives such as a user voice interface, and heated and ventilated leather seats, some of which even have a massage function.

Those infotainment screens seem to be getting bigger and bigger, something which poses a certain problem when it comes to keeping your mind on your driving, and your eyes on the road ahead. The larger the screen, the more likely that some drivers could be distracted when they should be giving what’s ahead
of them their full attention.

One gets around this to some extent by utilising voice commands and having steering wheel mounted controls for many of the in-car features. That said, buttons are disappearing in many areas of the new car market and while this results in a more uncluttered and minimalist looking cabin, the reliance on the infotainment screen alone for all manner of information is worrying.

Maybe it’s time the industry regulates this sort of thing before drivers have the equivalent of an IMAX Cinema in their car.

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