Touchscreens Underperforming & Dangerous Solutions for Motorists

The Economist May 9th 2020 pp65 Road Safety “Touchy Drivers” “Motorist are being distracted by touchscreens in cars”

Researchers have shown that carryout simple tasks playing a song or setting up route directions takes much longer using touchscreens in cars than either using their own mobile device or voice-activated (VA) commands. As it turns out VA is much faster but all are slower versus just using a knob or dial for knob-activated tasks.

The touchscreens regardless of APP are distracting although momentarily that can equate to 80 ft per second. “Among the worst outcomes [in controlled simulator studies] were a mean of 20 seconds of cumulative glances using Android Auto to plan a song on Spotify, and of 16 seconds to set up the route to a restaurant with CarPlay.” “For voice commands those means fell to four and three seconds respectively.” Adjusting the car climate using a touchscreen takes twice as long as using familiar physical controls, knobs and dials.

Safety goals are glances should be two seconds or less and cumulative <13 seconds. Automakers are working on making screens easier to operate featuring an inline view of the road and haptic feedback.

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