Dangerous Car Touchscreens, 12 Cars Compared Swedish Magazine Vi Bilagare

Dangerous Car Touchscreens, 12 Cars Compared Swedish Magazine Vi Bilagare

Vi Bilägare magazine accuses touchscreens of causing accidents

Our Swedish friends from Vi Bilagare magazine have perfectly formalized what we repeat throughout the article. Automotive touchscreens are great, but when using them is intuitive. I had rebelled during my exam against Bmw IX and its permanent seat height adjustment.

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Physical locks are becoming increasingly rare in modern cars. Many manufacturers are replacing touch screens, whose performance is very disappointing in the test conducted by Vi Bilagare magazine.

The automotive touch screens keep being great. Engineers at many automakers prefer to disable physical buttons and switches, even though it’s better in terms of safety.

This is the conclusion of Vi Bilagare magazine, which conducted a detailed test of the HMI (Human-Machine Interface) system on twelve vehicles.

Designers want “clean” interiors with minimal frills, and purchasing departments want to cut costs. Instead of developing, manufacturing and storing “physical buttons” for years, automakers want to pack more functions into the touch screen of cars that can be updated over time.


So how did these screens affect security? Vi Bilagare magazine gathered eleven modern cars from different manufacturers at the airport and measured the time it takes the driver to perform various simple tasks, such as changing radio stations or adjusting the climate. All this time the car was traveling at 110 km/h. A 17-year-old Volvo V70 with an “old style” without a touch screen was included in the test, as a basis for comparison.

An important aspect of this test is that the drivers have had time to familiarize themselves with the cars and their infotainment systems before the test begins.

And why is there no voice command?

The developers would like to mention that many features can now be activated by voice. But voice control systems aren’t always easy to use, can’t control all functions, and don’t always work as advertised, which is why voice control systems aren’t tested regularly. of this article.


The results speak for themselves. The lowest performing car needs 1400 meters to do the same work that the highest performing car needs only 300 meters.

The 2005 Volvo V70 proves that physical controls are easier to use than touchscreens.

What tests have been done?

Start the heated seat, increase the temperature by two degrees and start wiping.

Turn on the radio and tune to a specific channel (Program 1 Sweden).

Reset the on-board computer.

Reduce the brightness of the instrument to the lowest level and turn off the center display.

But where are the big differences?

By far the easiest car to understand and use is Volvo V70 from 2005, The four tasks are processed in ten seconds flat, during which the car travels 306 meters at 110 km / h.


At the other end of the scale, MG Marvel R. At the wheel, the driver needs 44.6 seconds before all tasks are completed, during which time the car has traveled 1,372 meters, more than four times the distance traveled by the old Volvo.

BMW IX and Seat Leon great work, but both are still very difficult. The driver needs almost a kilometer to complete the task. A lot can happen during this time. The BMW iX offers an integrated touchscreen with physical buttons, but that’s no guarantee of an easy-to-use system. BMW’s infotainment system has a lot of features, but it also has one of the most complex and confusing interfaces ever designed.

Dacia Sandero and Volvo C40 work well with their touch screens. However, they are not overwhelmed by the features. Volvo specifically shows that a touchscreen doesn’t have to be complicated.

Another sin is committed by Volkswagen and Seat. To save money, the touch climate control under the screen of the ID.3 and Leon have not moved back, making them completely invisible at night. we saw during our test of Seat of León .

He was too measured the angle at which the driver must look down to operate the controls. Taking pictures of the same driver in all cars, we see that the driver is looking down 56 degrees in the MG to see the lower end of the touchscreen, compared to just 20 degrees measured in the Mercedes GLB.

Results according to Vi Bilagare magazine (time in seconds to take the test)

Screenshot 2022 09 05 at 17.42.03


Text Fredrik Diits Vikstrom Photographer Glenn Lindberg

SOURCE: Glenn Lindberg / Vi Bilagare magazine

Translation / editing: Francois Bouet