Why Hyundai is Keeping Physical Buttons

Autonomous Driving: Goodbye Traditional Controls

Hyundai has similarly joined the trend of other carmakers in equipping their vehicles with double-screen set-ups rather reminiscent of tablets mounted to the dash. Nonetheless, this South Korean auto manufacturer is rising above the typical approaches. In contrast to other companies who go for making their cabins more basic by consolidating numerous functions onto the middle screen, a considerably large amount of options inside of a Hyundai can still be accessed simply with a push of a button.

Hyundai’s latest vehicle, the 2024 Kona, comes equipped with two 12.3-inch displays and a combination of traditional buttons and knobs. According to Sang Yup Lee, Head of Hyundai Design, the reason for keeping physical controls is for safety reasons. As he told Cars Guide Australia, “When you’re driving it’s hard to control it [the touchscreen], this is why when it’s a hard key it’s easy to sense and feel it.”

Lee went on to emphasise Hyundai’s striving to maintain hard-buttons for as extended a duration as feasible; though, he accepted that integrating most features into the touchscreen is simply an issue of time. He was symbolising those cars with a level 4 autonomous system, in which circumstances the car would not necessitate either a steering wheel or pedals. According to the Society of Automotive Engineers, level 4 automation insinuates no human input is required. Consequently, utilising a touchscreen wouldn’t be another safety hazard as the vehicle would be performing all the driving.

Despite the introduction of futuristic designs, such as the Ioniq 6 electric sedan, Hyundai is still opting for traditional controls. Though many functions are now controlled through a touchscreen, there are still shortcut buttons outside of the screen for air conditioning and other commonly used features. According to Lee, it’s “safest to have your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel,” and so the transition to full-screen control may take some time.

Source: Cars Guide

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