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Touch screens everywhere? Hyundai promises to keep the good old push-buttons

Initially, it was mainly about demonstrating technologies and complying with modern trends. But cars are not mobile phones. Thus, practice shows that sometimes old, proven methods will do their job better than modern procedures. “Over the past few years, despite the trends, we have used physical buttons a lot in our cars,” says SangYup Lee, Hyundai’s chief designer.

Hyundai insiders believe that the time has not yet come for touch control in car interiors, although according to them it is not necessarily a blind development offshoot. “I think from a safety perspective, frequently used functions should always have consistent feedback regardless of technological advancement,” Lee adds.

After all, this is also one of the reasons why the new generation Kona has, for example, the classic rotary control for changing volume or physical buttons for controlling air conditioning and heating. As a result, it’s actually a logical step – on some modern cars it’s necessary to take your eyes off the road to perform trivial tasks, or even worse, to “look up” a specific job somewhere in the menu.

The guys from Hyundai have recently been among the pioneers of progress, but from the point of view of the interior facade, in some ways they intend to stick to established habits.

It is precisely for these types of actions that the tactile response on the pads of our fingers is most reliable while driving, because with its high sensitivity it reliably recognizes a particular control unit based on the shape or roughness of the surface. “I know from my own experience that it is very difficult to adjust something while driving using only the touch screen,” the Korean designer admits.

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However, touch screens and controllers certainly have their advantages – they allow manufacturers to integrate a whole host of functions or technologies into one compact, variable interface. In some cases, it is constructively easier, for example, to implement two or three large screens in the dashboard rather than dozens of different buttons.

Another factor is that for a while, manufacturers have shown that they are moving with the times with digital displays. However, practice has shown that digital and touch-controlled interiors are not as self-sufficient as, for example, Volkswagen was convinced. “However, it is entirely possible that with the advent of Level 4 autonomous driving, there will be no need for physical buttons,” Lee concludes.

As a result, the truth falls somewhere in between. We know from experience that it’s still a bit early for digital interiors, but with the potential development of autonomous driving, that could still change. Until then, car manufacturers will try to find a compromise that will be optimal from the point of view of visual, functional, cost and above all ergonomic.

Are you a fan of classic buttons or touch screens?

I’m old school, very classic buttons.

I’m interested in technology, so I just “touch”.

Ideally both, a golden middle ground.

A total of 167 readers voted.