Originally Posted by jtuds
I agree....which is odd. You'd think they'd be inclined to lead the pack. In this day and age I don't see another application for voice commands that's as prominent as in a vehicle.
I think it makes a lot of sense that car manufacturers don't lead the way with things like that.
Firstly, they want tried and tested technology. Remember the old myth about the argument between Bill Gates and someone in Ford or General Motors about how if the car industry had innovated we'd all be buzzing around in electric motors that drive themselves or something? The thing is that cars have to be reliable, and not just for safety reasons - they have a much longer life than your personal tech and you don't expect the computer to freeze or crash routinely.
The other thing is that each car manufacturer largely seems to make their own systems. I don't think they have the economies of scale to be innovative. Look at the number of people who buy iPhones and Android handsets each year - this gives Apple and Google etc vast amounts of money to invest in R&D. Car companies have to spread their R&D budget over not just the in-car computer systems but also an incredibly complicated machine that has to be 100% safe and has to deal with incredibly harsh environments day in, day out for a decade or more.
Originally Posted by shoptb
There's no way to do anything on a touch-screen without taking one's eyes off the road. With iDrive, one can at least execute learned actions using the controller without looking at the screen. This minimizes the amount of time that the driver needs to remove his/her eyes from the road.
Absolutely. My experience using touch-screen satnavs backs this up.
I've not used the iDrive but having seen taxi drivers use Mercedes' version I realise that, while it's slower to use if you can give it 100% of your attention, you can flick your attention between the iDrive and the road more readily. With a touch screen I'm trying to coordinate my finger's exact position and trying to stop my finger being thrown off by bumps in the road all while steering and watching out for hazards. It's downright dangerous IMO.
What I'm hoping will make use of the iDrive easier is the HUD, as I understand that some things like song lists etc display on it?