Touchscreens are clearly the future. However, they seem to have turned from a neat innovation into a frightening, annoying, and potentially disastrous move for the automotive industry in some instances. Many automakers are cramming nearly every feature into the touchscreen, making it harder to get to specific features. For example, this is true of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS, with lumbar support getting singled out for particular scorn by Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports and Car and Driver have these positive things to say about the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS
The EQS is a luxury electric sedan from Mercedes-Benz. As such, it’s not surprising that it has many positive features. Car and Driver praises the car’s “truly awe-inspiring interior,” impressive range, and state-of-the-art technology. Car and Driver even went so far as to name it on their 2022 Editors’ Choice list, thanks to its “maximum efficiency” and “palatial cabin.”
Consumer Reports also had several positive things to say about the EQS. For starters, they praised the car’s acceleration, quietness, maneuverability, and front seat comfort. Not content to stop there, they also gave exceptionally high marks for the EQS’s fit and finish, lack of emissions, and ride. With all that going for the sedan, it’s almost hard to imagine that there could be anything left to complain about.
The problem with the much-hyped Mercedes EQS touchscreen
Despite all the praise the EQS received, it did not escape criticism for one glaring problem. That problem is the much-touted EQS “hyperscreen,” which critics say is far too confusing due to its small buttons and need for multiple screen commands.
Another problem with the hyperscreen is that it often requires an excessive number of commands to perform a straightforward task. Consumer Reports writes that one needs to go through five screens on the hyperscreen to adjust lumbar support setting. They speculate the manufacturer expected that people would only perform this task once and then set it as a permanent setting. The reality is that people often make minor adjustments to their seats every day. That’s a pretty clear fail on the part of Mercedes-Benz.
Lumbar support isn’t the only thing EV touchscreens have made too complicated
Mercedes-Benz isn’t the only example of a company that tried to shove too many features into the touchscreen. Other companies have followed similar paths, with one famous example being Tesla.
As MotorTrend reported last year, Tesla has been criticized for putting what used to be simple functions into the touchscreen, making them more challenging to use and potentially causing serious danger if the touchscreen should fail, which ultimately will. One example of this is the gear shifter. Rather than having a simple lever located in a traditional spot that would allow someone to go from drive to reverse, the Tesla Model X and Model S require the driver to use the touchscreen for this task.
Another example of this strange phenomenon is the parking brake on the Tesla Model 3. If the driver wants to release the parking brake, they must go three screens deep into the touchscreen. That hardly seems like the most efficient way to go about something that used to simply require pressing a button.
Touchscreens have their advantages, but when relied on excessively, they can contribute to overly complicated driving. That hardly seems like a recipe for increased safety on the road.