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American Drivers Still Like to Kick it Old School


Take a look around. Granted you aren’t alone in your home or isolated in a cubicle, there are probably several people around you and they are either a) on a phone b) on a computer/tablet or c) staring at a TV.

The modern age is obsessed with technology, innovation, and sleek, time-saving gadgets.  The computer has infiltrated our kitchen appliances, car interiors, and home security systems. My parents' kitchen has a toaster that sings and a microwave with funky, blue LED lights. Why?  Because we love it.  We drool over the simplistic piece of glass that allows us to control just about everything with just a few finger taps.  We just think it’s cool… and it is.

Car manufacturers have taken this proclivity for touch screens and tech and have integrated them into our second living rooms: the car.  Interestingly, the appearance of computers in the car has experienced a mild backlash.  Not only is this criticism fueled by frustration over systems that are too complicated or hard to understand, but also by American drivers’ attachment to buttons and knobs.  Funny, right?  After all our obsessive antics regarding touch screens and “simplicity” and it turns out we still, secretly, like buttons and knobs.  See, we're still traditionalists.

These days, most car brands have computers in their newest models—the computer is the newest “standard feature.” In the case of Ford and its MyTouch system, reviews have been mixed.  Spotty tech performance aside, the main gripe seems to be that drivers have a hard time operating the system while driving.  Many drivers are unable to adjust the volume or change the radio station because they do not have knobs—and must click through a few computer windows to complete the task via a touch system.  Some brands, such as Infiniti, have actually designed their computer systems to “lock” while the car is in motion. While this is a good safety measure it wouldn’t be necessary if the car still contained a few essential buttons or knobs.