The Car Is The Next UI Battleground

Matthaeus Krenn's slick UI concepts for an in-car touch dashboard are getting some attention. Touch-screen facsimiles of existing physical buttons certainly aren't a good fit, but I wonder if there's an approach that requires less relearning for drivers. Voice control perhaps?

Several automotive companies have begun replacing traditional controls in their cars with touch screens. Unfortunately, their eagerness to set new trends in hardware, is not matched by their ambition to create innovative software experiences for these new input mechanisms. Instead of embracing new constraints and opportunities, they merely replicate old button layouts and shapes on these new, flat, glowing surfaces.

So even controls for air condition and infotainment - which are commonly used while driving - now lack any tactile feedback and require the driver’s dexterity and attention when operated. Considering that distracted driving is the number one cause for car accidents, this is not a step in the right direction.