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Thread: Touchscreens considered as phones under German law

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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Touchscreens considered as phones under German law

    Driver crashes while attempting to adjust wiper speed through the car's touchscreen and is fined under anti-phone distraction laws.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-53666222

    Pay heed, car industry that wants to head to touchscreens for everything!

  2. #2
    RIP Peterb ik9000's Avatar
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    Re: Touchscreens considered as phones under German law

    I hope this actually changes things. I loathe new cars with everything via a CMS. Just give me old fashioned air con dials I can operate without looking.

  3. #3
    HEXUS.Squirrel Output's Avatar
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    Re: Touchscreens considered as phones under German law

    I would have thought that touchscreen controls would have been seen as a bad idea in vehicles from the start. Physical buttons make much more sense in that context, so none of the manufacturers should have changed that.

    A Sat Nav using the technology would be acceptable enough (obviously as long as it's only touched before the journey starts and after parking at the destination), but that's the only exception I can think of.

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    Moosekateer CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Touchscreens considered as phones under German law

    Why not voice commands?? KITT had it in the 80s!!


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    HEXUS.Squirrel Output's Avatar
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    Re: Touchscreens considered as phones under German law

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Why not voice commands?? KITT had it in the 80s!!
    While the KITT experience would be the best thing ever, sadly in reality any voice recognition would probably have a good chance of misunderstanding what was said and do something completely unrelated and perhaps dangerous as a result.

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    Moosekateer CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Touchscreens considered as phones under German law

    Quote Originally Posted by Output View Post
    While the KITT experience would be the best thing ever, sadly in reality any voice recognition would probably have a good chance of misunderstanding what was said and do something completely unrelated and perhaps dangerous as a result.
    Surely turn on the radio,wouldn't mean the ejector seat is....umm....ejected?


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    RIP Peterb ik9000's Avatar
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    Re: Touchscreens considered as phones under German law

    ok car, turn on radio one.

    "turning into lane one"

    not going to be great....

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    Hardcore Tory, Lost Cause Ttaskmaster's Avatar
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    Re: Touchscreens considered as phones under German law

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Why not voice commands?? KITT had it in the 80s!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Output View Post
    While the KITT experience would be the best thing ever
    What is wrong with you people??!!

    You do realise this is HEXUS, arch enemy of anything with RGB on it, right....?

    _______________________________________________________________________
    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I got bored and wanted something to have a fiddle with.

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    Re: Touchscreens considered as phones under German law

    Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.
    Wot a surprise.

    This is, IMHO, a classic example of the principle that just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

    Okay, so most cars have a collection of buttons, knobs, dials and switches and it can get tedious remembering where theg all are. If that really is a problem, and I've never found it go be then a decent solution would be legislation requiring all common driving controls to be in the same place, and work in fundamenttally the same way. i.e. stalk on left does headlights, flash, main, indicators, etc, and the and on right does wipers, or whatever.

    My last few cars (for, oh, 30 of 40 yesrs) have all had variable wiper speeds and a dial type tning on a stalk that you click four or five settings for speed.

    Each control doex ONE simple and pretty much idiot-proofed task.

    And I've yet to drive into a tree trying to work out how to adjust wiper speed (*). Or controlling lights, aircon, cruise, changing radio station, etc, because I don't hzve to look at the controls. My eyes stay where they should be - on the road ahead, other traffic, pedestrians and of course, quick glimpses in mirrors.

    I just fail to see ANY justification, beyond wanting the controls to look flashy, to put anything like that on a touch-screen.


    (*) Note - I've yet to drive into a tree for any other reason, either.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    RIP Peterb ik9000's Avatar
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    Re: Touchscreens considered as phones under German law

    me neither, and I have driven a raft of hire cars in recent years on various travels, all with different set-ups. It's confusing for what? Half a day tops? I have ended up in a field once due to aqua-planing approaching a 90 degree bend in a country lane. A kind passer by towed us out and we got on our way again. The road surface was almost polished and the road hadn't been properly maintained. Turns out our tyres were also panned online as being poor in the wet and at risk of AP too. We got those changed pretty quick afterwards.

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    Senior Member Xlucine's Avatar
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    Re: Touchscreens considered as phones under German law

    I feel whichever organisation approved this for sale (i.e. a safety critical feature requiring the driver to take their eyes off the road to use) has dropped the ball massively

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    HEXUS.Squirrel Output's Avatar
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    Re: Touchscreens considered as phones under German law

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    What is wrong with you people??!!

    You do realise this is HEXUS, arch enemy of anything with RGB on it, right....?
    KITT is a definite exception.

  13. #13
    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Touchscreens considered as phones under German law

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Why not voice commands?? KITT had it in the 80s!!
    Cars have had voice commands for years. Mine doesn't have a touch screen but it does have voice control. I tend to use it for changing radio stations.

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Touchscreens considered as phones under German law

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Why not voice commands?? KITT had it in the 80s!!
    Not read that specific BBC article, but from the one I did read the whole point of the ruling was that the car *did* have voice controls.

    The expectation is that you set the wipers to automatic and leave them be. If you forgot to do that, then voice command them to automatic, and leave them be.

    The wiper settings are apparently 5 menu levels deep in the control system. It seems fair enough to me that you should pull over and stop if you are messing with setup menus like that.

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    Senior Member Xlucine's Avatar
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    Re: Touchscreens considered as phones under German law

    Auto wiper settings often have fine control available (i.e. adjusting the sensitivity). Rain can vary in multiple ways (mm/hr and size of droplets, for example) so even notionally auto wipers aren't truly set and forget. If the wipers aren't wiping properly then it's not always possible to safely get to somewhere to stop (if you can't see out the windscreen then there's no safe speed you can go, and if there's no hard shoulder to stop on...), so the adjustment has to be easily accessible.

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    Re: Touchscreens considered as phones under German law

    I can adjust my auto-wiper without taking my eyes off the road. Same goes for the AC, the audio and just about everything else. If the controls for on-the-go systems aren't intuitive and easy to adjust without dividing your attention for more than a fraction they don't belong in the car.

    ...or, if you can't operate the controls without neglecting the act of driving, buy a bloody bus pass.
    Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes; after that, who cares?! He's a mile away and you've got his shoes!


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