Mercedes shuns a return to physical buttons

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The French ban drivers, and cyclists, from using earpieces of any description when driving, so you can't make calls (by using voice instruction), or listen to music when driving.

Obviously the French do live in their own little world. ("You must carry a breathalyser to check yourself to see if you have been drinking")

but it is possible that such.... nonsense... might cross the Channel one day.

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I am well aware that some seek out every opportunity to have a 'pop' at France and the French, but they reall must keep up!
From January 2020
 
Is it still 1995 in France???......who uses an earpiece to hear their phone in their car these day? Cant see that law affecting many.
As always, badly drafted laws brought in as a knee-jerk response to a particular problem (there were a spate of incidents with cyclists wearing headphones or ambient sound-blocking earbuds getting run over) caused unintended consequences - in particular for motorcyclists.

The effect of the law was to ban the use of comm's earplugs for motorcyclists, with the only (legal) exception being the use of in-helmet Bluetooth comm's using speakers mounted in the helmet. So no longer could motorcyclists protect their hearing with earplugs that included in-ear monitors for rider / passenger or bike-to-bike communications. Genius.
 
I don't much like the 'stuck-on iPad' look, but I don't like touchscreens full stop, for a very simple reason; I have pretty dry hands, and sometimes nothing happens when I touch a touchscreen. (Yes, I have the same problem with my mobile 'phone). It's very irritating...
 
I am well aware that some seek out every opportunity to have a 'pop' at France and the French, but they reall must keep up!
From January 2020
My point was about the inane bureaucracy of the French.

So bluetooth earpieces are currently banned in French cars, even though they're ubiquitous amongst the young, in cars, on public transport, and while walking

Ditto the 2.5 million privately owned electric scooters (trottinettes) which have a wide range of laws about usage which are happily ignored by the French.

Yes, Hollande scrapped the fines for not carrying a Breathalyser kit, but it still then took five years for the legislation to be passed in 2019 to end the "requirement to check."
 
Here's the What Car? article:

On the subject of driver distraction, the stat's indicate that it was a contributing factor in best part of one-third of collisions resulting in road deaths (up from less than a quarter in 2013):
...distraction was a contributing factor in 17% of all road accidents in 2022, up from 13% in 2013. And when you examine the data for fatal collisions, the statistics are even more worrying; driver distraction was a factor in 29% of road deaths in 2022, up from 23% in 2013.
 
"We wouldn't want to be without our infotainment systems..." Oh, really...:rolleyes:
 
There's an (unfounded) underlying assumption that systems designed by car manufacturers and built-in into their cars will have gone through the relevant safety and ergonomic vetting process.

The same applies to Apple CarPlay and and Android Auto, again there's an assumption that we can rely on Apple and Google (respectively) to ensure that their design is safe to use while driving.

But in reality there's no ISO standard or UN Directive etc that covers the specifications for HMI (Human Machine Interface) for automotive infotainment systems.

Instead, operating built-in infotainment systems while driving simply falls under the generic legal definition of the requirement to 'drive with due care and attention' at all times.

This is probably a legacy from the two-knob AM radio of the sixties, where it was just common sense not to take the eyes off the road when tuning the radio. But things have become much more complicated since... and regulation didn't catch-up.

I like the set up in my car where I used the Comand nudge wheel to contol the Android Auto interface on the screen. Really good combo of a simple and intuitive physical controler driving a complex application interface.

Other switches I use a lot include Airmatic Sport/Comfort, seat heater, seat cooler, fan speed, HVAC mode and HRW. Use the volume knob all the time. Plus the steering wheel controls to navigate through all the screens on the instrument cluster.

The OH's Fiat 500 has a touch screen but thankfully it's really only used to change the audio source, select a radio station or start and stop a podcast or audio book. Everything else is controlled physically.
 
I like the set up in my car where I used the Comand nudge wheel to contol the Android Auto interface on the screen. Really good combo of a simple and intuitive physical controler driving a complex application interface.

Other switches I use a lot include Airmatic Sport/Comfort, seat heater, seat cooler, fan speed, HVAC mode and HRW. Use the volume knob all the time. Plus the steering wheel controls to navigate through all the screens on the instrument cluster.

The OH's Fiat 500 has a touch screen but thankfully it's really only used to change the audio source, select a radio station or start and stop a podcast or audio book. Everything else is controlled physically.
The whole 'iPad stuck to the dashboard' menu-driven everything approach was the primary reason why Mrs S didn't replace her Leon with the latest iteration. Her 2018 version has a touchscreen for a lot of functions, but pretty much everything also has a tactile switch, button or dial to operate those functions.
Given the whole VW group infotainment software clusterfudge, she probably unwittingly dodged a bullet.
 
It seems that they will now have to revert to actual buttons for certain functions if they want 5 start NCAP rating from 2026, along with other tech.

 
"Horn, windshield wipers, turn signals, hazard warning lights and SOS features"; I'm not even vaguely familiar with the very latest touchscreen features in cars, but which of those is commonly controlled by touchscreen nowadays?
 
On ones I've driven.....none of those. Its usually stuff like AC, infotainment systems/satnav etc.
 
"Horn, windshield wipers, turn signals, hazard warning lights and SOS features"

On ones I've driven.....none of those.
Tesla are a major offender. Wipers, Hazard Warning Lights and SOS call are all touch screen activated - and before someone pipes up that they can all be voice activated, I know.

Inexplicably, Tesla has also moved the turn signal operation to a button on the 9-o'clock steering wheel spoke on the latest incarnation of the Model 3 which has got to be the single daftest example of fiddling with driving controls "because we can" that I can think of.
 
V W having lot of complaints too with no switches just touch and voice in most new models now , and some touch / swipe are not even back lit.
 
They are changing back to at least some switches according to Autocar.
 
Apart from the multitude of touch screens without haptic feedback which requires the driver to take the eyes off the road, there are also the small touch sensitive menu surfaces on the left and right side of the steering wheel. They also requires the driver to look down the instrument cluster.

I cannot say that I see this as "improvements" or "progress". It is a cost save masked as high-tech. "Because we can"

All these gizmos look great in broshures but in reality IMO they are dangerous to use while driving. Maybe I am old fashioned and does not have the capacity for split vision but I have to make all neccessary adjustments before taking off.

Should the authorities require the return of physical controls that can be rotated, flipped, or pushed the future, I will consider it a wise decision.
 

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