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Now that Apple has shown us how it's done with the iPod Touch and the iPhone, we need an LCD Touch screen up front that takes care of all auxilliary controls. Radio (HD, XM/Sirius), climate controls, outside temp, compass, etc, all need to consolidated on one easy to reach touch screen, interior lights, with no knobs on the dash. External lights should be automatic with light (like my monte carlo) and rain sensors.

I'm a big gadget fan, so besides the chance to drive an electric vehicle, I'd love to have the controls look like nothing else we've seen in today's cars.
 

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No Touch

I definately do not want a touch display, I want something with tactile feedback so that I can feel that I am hitting a button, or turning a dial, that way you don't have to look at what your hand is doing instead of looking at the road.
 

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Now that Apple has shown us how it's done with the iPod Touch and the iPhone, we need an LCD Touch screen up front that takes care of all auxilliary controls. Radio (HD, XM/Sirius), climate controls, outside temp, compass, etc, all need to consolidated on one easy to reach touch screen, interior lights, with no knobs on the dash. External lights should be automatic with light (like my monte carlo) and rain sensors.

I'm a big gadget fan, so besides the chance to drive an electric vehicle, I'd love to have the controls look like nothing else we've seen in today's cars.

I have a Prius. I thought that the touch panel on the Prius would be a cool interface - it's my least favorite feature on the Prius. The touch panel is awkward to use but not necessarily poorly designed. Give me old-fashioned button and knobs for AC control, etc.
 

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maybe we can have both

I have to agree with Kevin K and rca19 of this in that most touch screens can be high maintenance. But you also have to consider the number of features that could be made available to the user is you have a touch screen interface. So I was thinking, what the heck, have both.

You can have the tactile buttons on the console or on the steering wheel. These will control simple things, and more over things you need to control while paying attention to the road, stereo volume, song track, mirror adjustment, a/c temp, cruise control, etc.. The touch screen can deal with complex input. like organizing play lists, route planning, adjusting threshold for when the ICE will turn on, sorting through mp3s for your horn, etc.. You could even make some or all of those buttons and knobs customizable.
 

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This is already one of the options with Onstar GPS Nav and then Media entertainment Options and climate control and a away to schedule Pre-heat the passenger cabin in winter before you get in the car and a whole slew of things
 

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Kiss

Every layer of complexity, exponentially increases the number of things that can go wrong. AT LEAST INITIALLY, I'd vote for whatever method is the most bulletproof (Keep It Simple Sweetheart).
God Bless,
Tag
 

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I definately do not want a touch display, I want something with tactile feedback so that I can feel that I am hitting a button, or turning a dial, that way you don't have to look at what your hand is doing instead of looking at the road.
When reaching for a control with tactile feedback, I find myself glancing momentarily at the control as I reach for it. Does anyone else do this? Just curious!
 

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Touch screen

When reaching for a control with tactile feedback, I find myself glancing momentarily at the control as I reach for it. Does anyone else do this? Just curious!
Sure do, but I used to actively WATCH my daughter's Prius screen. Even when I was driving.
 

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Tagamet, what is on that Prius screen -- information or entertainment? If it is entertainment, then I would think that screen should not be visable from the drivers seat.
 

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Estero

Tagamet, what is on that Prius screen -- information or entertainment? If it is entertainment, then I would think that screen should not be visable from the drivers seat.
It's information ranging from your CURRENT mpg to heater/AC info or (on the higher end models) navigation info. It's not "movie" type entertainment, but the info (especially mileage) IS entertaining and engaging.
Tagamet
 

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Touch screen is fine for setting the presets or fine tuning of a system, but basic controls need to be analog knobs, switches and levers. I believe it's critical to reduce the amount of heads down time in the cockpit. I found in the week I had gotten a Prius as a loaner car, the touch screen to be annoying. It also had an awful lot of silly useless information being displayed that does distract the new driver. I'm sure long term drivers learn to tune it out or never go to those screens.

Please, no tech just for tech's sake. Only include new digital features if it actually makes driving safer or easier.
 

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DaV8or

Touch screen is fine for setting the presets or fine tuning of a system, but basic controls need to be analog knobs, switches and levers. I believe it's critical to reduce the amount of heads down time in the cockpit. I found in the week I had gotten a Prius as a loaner car, the touch screen to be annoying. It also had an awful lot of silly useless information being displayed that does distract the new driver. I'm sure long term drivers learn to tune it out or never go to those screens.

Please, no tech just for tech's sake. Only include new digital features if it actually makes driving safer or easier.
I agree wit 90% of the above, especially for Volt V 1.0, but the Prius info that provided immediate feedback as to the effects of the manner in which you are driving were having on your mileage actually WAS helpful in teaching me to drive "well". If there is a simple way to get feedback when in All Electric Range as to how many miles per Khr I'm getting that'd be helpful (to me). For now, however, KISS.
and... FIRST let's get the Volt's wheels on the road!
 

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my mom

My mother and stepfather just recently bought a Prius and I will have to agree with Tagamet that the screen is distracting. I would think that the displays would come up on the drivers console. Things like state of charge, estimated miles per kWh, regeneration efficiency; all set up for an easy glance.

I am also a firm believer in a "glass cockpit" where all of the dials like speedometer, temperature, oil temp, etc. are displayed on a flat screen instead of "real" dials and lights, etc. Every data item you could ever want to know about you car could be displayed on two 6x10 lcd screens (non-touch). This would make every thing less complex because all of that information has to go to the CPU anyway. Changing back to a analog signal afterward is just a waste, and increases complexity. Airplanes do it, there is no reason for the Volt (or any car for that mater) not to. I am also a big proponent of making these customizable, but that is for a different thread.

As for the touch screen, there is going to be many an opportunity to require complex information exchange, exchange that the knobs and buttons on the console and wheel will not adequately support.
 

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I am also a firm believer in a "glass cockpit" where all of the dials like speedometer, temperature, oil temp, etc. are displayed on a flat screen instead of "real" dials and lights, etc. Every data item you could ever want to know about you car could be displayed on two 6x10 lcd screens (non-touch). This would make every thing less complex because all of that information has to go to the CPU anyway. Changing back to a analog signal afterward is just a waste, and increases complexity. Airplanes do it, there is no reason for the Volt (or any car for that mater) not to. I am also a big proponent of making these customizable, but that is for a different thread.
I'm OK with the use of LCDs for driver information, just let's hope they can make them not so ugly. A big ol' flat rectangle on the dash is pretty darn lame looking. Also I hope they don't put all the eggs in one basket, meaning that multiple smaller, cheaper displays so that when one takes a dive, it's not a huge expensive repair and doesn't take the car off line. So far, I'm not super impressed with the large displays in aircraft with regards to reliability. There have been a lot of failures with expensive down time for brand new systems that were supposed to be 10x more reliable than the old "steam gauges" they replaced.
 

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I'm suprised

I've never heard of reliability problems with displays. I know the Boeing aircraft have some level of redundancy so if the display with the air speed indicator and altimeter fail, the screen that has the engine speed and thrust can display all four parameters (in a compact form)
 

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I don't really know about the displays they put in Boeings, that's way out of my league, I was just talking about the ones they are now starting to put into General Aviation planes. They too have redundancy where information can be transfered from the dead display to another. Unfortunately, they haven't quite lived up to their superior reliability claims. The smaller displays like say about 3" x 4" seem to be fine. I don't hear too much about any problems there, it's the new big displays that are about laptop size. I've attached pictures of both the Garmin system and Avidyne systems that are most prevalent in new planes.
 

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I dunno

I guess you would want mechanical dials for the critical items like charge and fuel reserve. I drove a standard transmission with a broken speedometer (and no tach) for 2 years without a problem (I never had to explain to officer friendly that I indeed did not know how fast I was going). A coworker of mine has a pathfinder where the all of the console dials go out at once. Apparently a good whack takes care of it but

I don't know what goes into making an LCD or plasma display, but you might be able to get away with something other than rectangular. The only reason why I would want a rectangular display is because replacing it would be cheap, which brings down the initial cost of the car.

...cool shots of the cockpit displays.
 

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I think computer interfaces with touch screens will eventually be the natural thing in cars. It's inevitable. Voice-activiation will be important too. I also think there will be wireless controls for lots of things too.

I must say, I still prefer a volume knob for a radio in a car, though.

As far as simplicity, a touch screen can actually make things a lot simpler. There are far fewer moving parts, wires and connections.
 
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