Mercedes shuns a return to physical buttons

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I can't see mb ever listening to customer feedback even tho touchscreens for every control inside the vehicle are bloody dangerous!
Oh they will when it starts to hurt sales and competitors with REAL controls start taking those sales away .
We all know that it’s illegal to touch, hold or use a phone, sat nav, tablet, while driving and even when
  • stopped at traffic lights
  • queuing in traffic
  • supervising a learner driver
  • driving a car that turns off the engine when you stop moving ("Stop/Start")
  • holding and using a device that’s offline or in flight mode
It seems absurd that one can, and in many cases must use a (mega) screen on the car to perform basic or essential functions.

This is particularly absurd when that mega screen mirrors the screen on one's mobile 'phone enabling one to use all the functions including making calls, using a sat nav app. etc....
Not quite : it is unlawful to hold AND use an interactive device whilst 'driving' ; the wording means that both conditions have to be satisfied .

Therefore you can hold it as long as you aren't using it 'for any purpose' ,

and you can use it 'for any purpose' as long as you aren't holding it . This does not exclude touching the device , so as long as it is an a cradle , or merely lying on a surface , as long as you are not holding it , you CAN touch it .

The legislation is quite specific .
It's not illegal to touch it, only to use it whilst holding it. Otherwise how would you answer a call?
Automatic answering via a carkit . When connected to my Bury system my phone can be set to auto answer immediately , after a preset number of rings , or not to answer automatically , which is how mine is set since I rarely take or make calls whilst driving .
Sorry - sadly I'm right !

"You are not allowed to touch your phone for any reason. If you really need to handle your phone, stop in a safe place and turn the car’s engine off."


"Holding and using a phone or any other electronic device that can send or receive data while driving is illegal. That refers specifically to using the device with your hands, whether online, offline or flight mode. "
Source: Mobile phone use while driving – Laws and penalties in the UK
Nope - those third party sites are wrong .

The only definitive guide is legislation , which says nothing about not touching the device when driving , this is what the court will refer to , not third party websites where people have misinterpreted the legislation .

and a summary

This is what it says, agreed. And I suppose that the correct and legal way to make or take calls in these circumstances would be by using voice commands only.

The funny thing, though, is that you can touch-click 'accept' on the car's infotainment system, but not on the mobile phone.
My Bury carkit has a small touch panel which can be used to accept or reject calls , accept voice commands such as 'dial home' or to increase/reduce volume during a call ; I have it affixed just left of the instrument cluster , with the phone cradle down in the passenger footwell , out of the way .

Far too many people affix phones to the windscreen - this is unlawful since it cannot be within the area swept by the windscreen wipers , and placing any device in that area is a reason for refusal of an MOT test certificate , yet I often see fools driving at night with phones on full daytime brightness and right in the middle of the windscreen , in front of their faces , which is utter stupidity .
I think it's the way it's worded - you're not allowed to touch your device while holding it.

You could not hold a device without touching it , but as long as you are not USING it for any purpose , then you CAN hold it .

However , even though holding the device without using it is not specifically prohibited , doing so must not interfere with your control of the car , otherwise a charge of driving without due care and attention could be brought .
That's just a button on my steering wheel that's accessible without removing my hands from the wheel.

Not that I'll use it anyway, because I disagree with holding telephone conversations whilst driving.
I would not have one of those cars with buttons all over the steering wheel ; the wheel is for steering the car , nothing else apart from on many having the horn readily available .
I believe not! The RAC say:-

Hands-free phone use: the law​

There are two things to remember here:
  1. You cannot hold your phone when behind the wheel, even momentarily (this includes when supervising a learner driver).
  2. To use your phone for communication you must have hands-free access.
Any hands-free devices should be fully set up before you drive, so you can take calls without handling the device.

Source:- Mobile phone driving laws - what is and isn't illegal? | RAC Drive
No , that is not correct - there is no prohibition against holding the device as long as you are not using it for any purpose . The offence is to hold AND use , not either one or the other .
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.

View attachment 151867
I think the breathalyser rule has ceased now - I'm sure I read it somewhere recently .
The s205 centre console switches are exactly the same all in a line. Its impossible to select them without looking at them or memorising them. The old w202 and s124 switch layouts were more intuitive. I could deal with these by touch alone.
Unless you have a fully optioned 124 , you will never have a full row of rocker switches above the heater controls ; and the window and seat heater controls are easily found by touch .

W124s were designed by engineers who understood ergonomics - the buffoons of today don't , and Uhlenhaut would have fired them right out the door !
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):
I wouldn't want any car included system ; I always fit my own high end audio system which has been in and out of numerous cars over the last 30 or so years . In fact I have three complete sets of components to kit out different cars .
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.
On my Ponton , and all 1950s Mercedes , the horn ring doubled as the indicator control and was operated by turning it left or right , which could be done regardless of the position of hands or wheel . Things have gone so far backwards since that elegant design .

You can just see me cancelling the signal at the very end of this short video - yes the indicators were NOT self cancelling . I miss that car after having it for 38 years :-(

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Oh , here's another feast of old Mercedes-Benz from my archives , again including my Ponton . This video is pretty long , and image quality isn't the best , but it is a visual feast of old cars .

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