It’s impossible to get away from giant tablet screens on the interior of cars these days. Believe it or not, there are still people out there who believe that we’re better off without them—and one of those people is Jaguar’s design director Ian Callum.
The new Toyota Highlander, for instance, claims its new twelve-inch touch screen as one of its most significant features, as it represents a step forward for the company. But when asked if he would be interested in putting a tablet in his cars, Callum responded, “not if I can help it” before launching into a longer denunciation of the screens. From Bloomberg:
If you’re driving 80-90 miles an hour—and you can in some countries, legally—you don’t want to be flipping around an iPad looking to move your door mirrors or your seat controls. You need to be able to feel your way through the car without looking at it for more than a millisecond.
Callum’s criticisms are interesting, given that Jaguar has been implementing a dual-screen system—where the screen is split in half so that driver and passenger can each manipulate the screen—that kind of sucks.
Honestly, though, he’s not wrong. While infotainment systems can be handy for things like GPS navigation or Bluetooth connectivity, they’ve been growing in size and function—to the point where, now, it’s bordering on absurdity. Kia’s EV concept, for example, has 21 screens. Honda’s Retro EV has basically substituted all of the dashboard controls for one giant screen. Every automaker’s screen style is different, and, for the most part, they end up being largely confusing, complicated, or unbearably laggy.
With a future that seems pretty much determined to turn our cars into mobile entertainment devices, it’s comforting to know that there are still some automakers out there who aren’t so keen on giving up the tactile element of the car in exchange for a tablet.