Traditional dash controls vs touch screens

Discussion in 'Knowledge Base Articles Discussion' started by Mendel Leisk, Jan 31, 2021.

  1. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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  2. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    It's all about the money. Physically making a dashboard with knobs and switches require a lot of work. I prefer knobs and switches. Touch screens and technology has high profit margins for the manufacturer but oftentimes at the confusion and befuddlement of the end user.

    I usually try only the bast model, but dealers just carry very few of them, since there is less profit margin for the manufacturer, the dealer, the finance company, property taxes, insurance companies and future repair services.

    The key to the economy is to relieve the consumer of as much of his or her current and future earnings as much as possible.

    Those "indentured" financial slaves are preferred by employers as they are more likely to come to work and be more docile and compliant.
     
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  3. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    I HATE touch screen controls.
    It is almost impossible to keep your finger steady while the car is moving.
    It is even worse if your hand shakes a bit all the time.
    GRRRRRR. :mad:
     
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  4. The Professor

    The Professor Senior Member

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    This! I remember many years ago I bought a state of the art use configurable programmable touch-screen TV remote, that learnt all of its commands by copying them from your existing remotes. It was basically a large mobile phone sized touchscreen and some Windows software that allowed you to design the interface with different button shapes, sizes, text, icons, positions, etc. It sounded amazing and I really loved it so far...

    ...until I tried using it to actually control my TV and discovered I had to spend what felt like an eternity looking at the screen to find where a button was and make sure my thumb was located correctly. By comparison, I could pick up my old remote, with buttons, and locate the correct button by touch alone in a fraction of a second. The lack of physical buttons made it practically unusable.

    Same with programming the sat nav. It's very difficult to accurately press buttons while the car is moving (passenger doing this for safety, obviously, honest).
     
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  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    how is it that they are cheaper to produce, yet replacement is $1,200.?
     
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    #6 Mendel Leisk, Jan 31, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
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  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The same way it was cheaper for the car companies to get rid of the foot switch for the high beams. It might have increased the cost of the multi-function stalk on the steering column, but the savings were greater. It didn't just get rid of the old switch, but also the costs of that wiring, and the manufacturing costs of putting it all in.

    The savings of the touch screen is in not having to install the separate switches, and run the wiring for them all. it will also save during design in that they don't have to work out the best placement of all those switches.

    The car manufacturer isn't going to be paying retail for the unit, and will get a discount in ordering tens of thousands of units.
     
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  8. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I wonder if they are copying industrial controls. A few years before I left the manufacturing arena, we were getting more and more touch screen controls for our high speed automated machinery. They were great. Run a cable from the PLC to the touch screen unit and you've finished wiring most of your controls and opened up several slots in the I/O rack. Don't like the layout of the controls from the factory? Program a spare display the way you want it and then, in about 5 minutes, you just swap it out. (Of course the programming might take a couple days, but there's almost zero downtime.)

    But when you put that in a car, now you're trying to hit a moving target with your finger while bouncing down the road trying to keep one eye on the baby strollers and the other on the screen you don't want to touch in the wrong place. And you can forget about changing the layout. Just plain stupid!!!

    Still, once you get familiar with the layout, it gets less difficult. For example, today my wife wanted to turn on the vent fan w/o the A/C while I was driving. I had collapsed the bottom part of the 11" screen to show more map. She was lost. I reached over and with one touch brought up the HVAC screen. Two touches to put the fan on speed two. Another touch to turn off the A/C. One more to redirect the air to our faces. Presto! It was only about three times harder than doing the same thing on her Trim Two 2017 Prius. What's the problem? :whistle:
     
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  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Funny, I was thinking of that today. My parents 58 VW had that, brilliant: toggle high beams on/off with a tap of the toe. But we “progress”.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    2016 Honda Fit,base and intermediate levels. Top level was “upgraded” to touch screen. Sadly, I think they’ve ALL since gone to touch screens:

    2CADC887-A0E8-4AF7-B7EA-5D263A71B3BA.jpeg
    I don’t believe controls like the above negate the viability of automatic climate control either, if you want the computer to control things.
     
    #10 Mendel Leisk, Jan 31, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
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  11. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    It's called logistics and economy of scale.

    Just a few touch screens of several sizes can be standardized for a large number of platforms.

    Rather than designing multiple dashboard configurations for each level of options for each and every model line offered, the screens can be purchased at low const in quantity. Each dashboard panel needs a specialized designed injection mold and time consuming design and placement of each knob or switch. Not so with touch screens.

    Even if they paid less than a hundred dollars for each unit, they can charge upwards of a thousand dollars or more for a replacement, because they can, as except for salvage yards, they are the only source in town.

    There is where all of the profit margins are, and they are very high.
     
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  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    I shouldn’t bring this up, but can’t resist: a few years back a Priuschat member posted a question about replacing a cracked touch screen (large screen Prime IIRC). It gradually came out: it was cracked cus he’d punched it lol.
     
  13. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    There is also no need is assemble can connect each individual switch to the panel for each vehicle. Almost every manufacturer shuns the use of screws unless absolutely necessary, preferring snap together panels and plastic push rivets. It cost time and money to select, position and drive in each screw into each vehicle.
     
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    my 60's mercedes had a foot switch for a single windshield wipe (pre adjustable speed) no need to take your hands off the wheel.
     
  15. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    And it is a huge savings when many varieties of design changes are needed. No wasted inventory, rework, re-tooling, and long supply chain delays. The concept of "updating of existing units" becomes possible.
    Regular repeated just-in-time deliveries of whole truckloads of units, where all units will be quickly installed without being warehoused, have a far far lower per-unit cost than singles ordered, packaged, handled, transported, inventoried, warehoused, and accounted and billed one at a time, and with a very substantial fraction eventually becoming unsold surplus.

    This is also how button cell batteries with a factory cost of a dime each, when purchased by the pallet, cost $5 each on single-unit cards on the drugstore shelf. The bare product itself may as well be given away for free, but you must pay plenty to cover all the other activity in the chain from factory door to your hands.
     
    #15 fuzzy1, Jan 31, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
  16. John321

    John321 Active Member

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    I like knobs. Our teenage drivers like the touchscreen.

    It is thoughtful when an automobile manufacturer offers both and the driver chooses how to interact with the car.

    There are a couple of manufacturers who offer touchscreen control and knob control of the different functions - radio -temperature control etc.

    This approach is especially powerful if the manufacturer also allows the phones to interface with the car with apple and android play as well as the manufactures own interface system that will respond to voice command. This is again provide by some manufacturers.

    The car then fits the customer no matter what the customer desired approach is - the customer is not forced to conform to the vehicle.
     
  17. kenmce

    kenmce High Voltage Member

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    The touch screens are flat-out unsafe. You can't do anything without taking your eyes off the road.
     
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  18. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Good question. Fred’s House of Pancakes instead? But that seems a catch-all for trivia, mostly not Prius related. Not sure if KB is best though, your call.
     
  20. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Yeah FHoP is the "off-topic" forum for everything else. KB, I thought it was meant for tips, tricks and basic hybrid or car maintenance knowledge.

    I figured you were just generally asking about touchscreen vs. knobs that can apply to any new car nowadays.
     
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