Ford To Address Touch-Screen Interface Concerns
Ford plans to propel its vehicles forward in time by taking a step backwards. But why? The problem – at least for some consumers in The United States of America – is that a large proportion of the company's products have the MyFord Touch Interface. This enables the motorist to control functions such as the stereo, climate control, and satellite navigation systems from a large touch-screen interface. It can be operated via voice command too. However, the system has not been positively received by a significant amount of users who argue that it makes simple tasks complicated and unintuitive. The manufacturer therefore plans to re-introduce traditional knobs and buttons to control (say) the volume of the stereo and the ambient temperature of the cabin. These, of course, are the type of functions a motorist wants to operate intuitively without taking his/her eyes off the road. This is not necessarily easy via touch-screen. The MyFord Touch Interface will therefore evolve into a hybrid system which is part high-tech touch screen and part traditional button. Furthermore, some existing users had reliability issues that were only rectified recently via a software update – so it is reasonable to hint that this computer-based interface has been surprisingly problematic.
The Future of Car Interfaces
The MyFord Touch Interface is not available in the United Kingdom but it - or one of its descendants - will be launched here sooner or later. In fact, it will not be long before the majority of new cars have a touch-screen set-up. This concerns some motorists who believe that vehicles are becoming too complicated. But this is not necessarily true. Vehicles are complicated/clever because they house numerous systems that make motoring far safer and more convenient (as long as they work). Who now realistically wants to drive a “simple” vehicle from the eighties? So, the trick motor manufactures must learn is to make the operation of their complex products intuitive whether the interface is touch-screen, button-based, voice-based, or a combination. Perhaps the manufacturers could take inspiration from operating systems such as Ubuntu 13.4 or Android 4.3. These, after all, perform a wider range of tasks than required by motorists but can be picked-up by most competent users in a short time. And of course, the manufactures must ensure - pre-launch - that any software is stable and mostly bug free.