Bring back buttons and dials on our cars and trucks

Super-sized touch screens distract drivers. When you’re in imminent danger you want hitting the horn to be easy and reflexive — not a task that requires you to take your hands off the wheel and tap through an in-car app.

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Editorials

April 2, 2024 - 3:18 PM

Ford’s SYNC 4 system includes a 12-inch center screen that allows passengers to split the screen and control multiple car functions at the same time. (Ford/TNS)

As cars go electric and get more technologically advanced, their interiors are increasingly being built around prominent dashboard touch screens.

Nearly every automaker has been moving controls for windshield wipers, headlights, air conditioning, gear selection and other basic functions to these centralized touch screens. It’s an industrywide shift that is most pronounced with electric vehicles but not limited to them. 

Consumers have rightly complained that screens are more of a pain to use than the intuitive physical buttons, dials and switches cars have been equipped with for decades.

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