The automotive industry is good at innovating and development has never been as fast as it is now. But sometimes innovations aren’t for the best – and a step forward can mean a step back.
VW itself experimented with exactly this with the tactile buttons on the steering wheel. Now they need to be replaced – and instead let’s go back to the “old” physical buttons.
When one of the biggest car brands in the world makes such a U-turn, it’s probably a long way off. They usually do very thorough tests before deciding on anything.
But they too can, of course, make mistakes. Then there is only one thing to do: go back as before. No matter how much it hurts pride …
Buttons for trouble
The problem, then, is the pressure-sensitive tactile buttons on the steering wheel that arrived a few years ago. These replaced the traditional physical buttons and were, among other things, introduced on the ID.3 electric car.
However, both car journalists and several owners complained about the ease of use.
Eventually, VW has had enough. They are now moving away from this solution.
Do what customers want
VW CEO Tomas Schäfer writes in a post on LinkedIn.
– We simplify the use of our cars. Among other things, we resume the physical buttons on the steering wheel. This is what our customers want.
It will certainly be well received. In any case, the undersigned can sign that this is on time. Here since I tested the VW ID.5 earlier this year:
We are not yet familiar with the so-called haptic buttons, both on the steering wheel and under the screen on the dashboard. And now we’ve driven quite a few VW models with this one. So I wonder if I just decided that this is a development that has gone in the wrong direction.
Easy to print badly
The tactile buttons on the steering wheel look modern, shiny and unique and you should receive a vibration confirming that you have pressed them.
But in practice they work much worse than the traditional solution: they are more difficult to use while driving and it is easy to press the wrong button.
There is no indication that VW intends to take similar action on its other tactile buttons. Among other things, those for air conditioning and volume, which are located under the infotainment screen in ID.3, ID.4 and ID.5.
Read this, pastor …
But Schäfer, if you happen to read this: I’m pretty sure I’m taking the vast majority of all ID holders with me when I push the physical buttons for the air conditioning and a wheel with which to adjust the volume.
If we also got a bigger screen, like on Skoda Enyaq, it would really help. Maybe even a menu wheel so you don’t have to aim for the touch-sensitive screen.
But maybe that’s too much to ask ..?
This article was first published on Broom no.