Touchscreens in Cars: How Infotainment Is Changing

As touchscreens continue to play a greater role in our lives, they are moving out from our homes and into our transport. As we’ve written about before, touchscreens can be useful when travelling abroad, but some of the most exciting new touchscreen tech is taking place in our cars. Most new cars will now have some kind of infotainment system, and many of them include touchscreens. But just how are we implementing touchscreens in cars right now?

The Rise of Touchscreens in Cars

Cars have always had some kind of infotainment system. For many years, this consisted of a cassette player and radio. But things have changed and today it’s not uncommon to see touchscreens in cars, complete with a huge range of functions.

A few years ago, car makers realised that people wanted smarter infotainment systems in their cars. This was especially true of younger car buyers who are now using touchscreens from the day they are born. They no longer wanted switches and physical controls.

Touchscreens were also becoming a lot cheaper, which is a trend that has continued. Because the technology is so prevalent, it makes a lot more sense financially to use them in cars.

Touchscreen Capabilities

Touchscreens in cars are also popular because they are capable of so many functions these days. Perhaps the most common feature is sat-nav, which has become standard, due to its ease of use and capacity for mid-journey adjustment.

Bluetooth is another common feature. This allows you to pair up your phone and other devices to listen to music and make hands-free calls directly from the touchscreen. Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay make this even easier. By pairing your phone up with your infotainment system, you can use Google Assistant or Siri, get directions, make calls and more.

Touchscreens in cars are also used to control various features like the lighting, air conditioning and climate control.

The Potential Flaw with Touchscreens

There is one potential problem with touchscreens in cars: when driving, you have to look at the screen in order to use it.

With a button or switch, you can physically press or turn it without looking. But this is not so easy with a touchscreen. This is why many car makers like Mercedes and BMW are now using a combination of touchscreen tech and rotary dials. Using this, you can move through the functions while you are driving without being distracted.

Cars Are Getting More Hi-Tech by the Year

Touchscreens are very much a part of the modern-day car, and they are not going anywhere. But one thing you can expect is that they will constantly improve. OLED screens are becoming more common, as are new features like speech recognition and gesture control like in the Jaguar-Land Rover systems. Some also have haptic feedback to make using the screens while driving easier.

Mercedes-Benz brought out its MBUX system in 2018. This first came out in the A-Class, and it comprises a touchscreen complete with voice control, a touchpad and even AI features.

It’s an exciting future for cars – and that’s without even mentioning that they soon might be driving themselves.

If you want to find out how touchscreens are being used outside of your car, check out our Industry News page.