Tablet-like touchscreens have become the norm in most new cars, trucks, and SUVs. They serve several purposes: infotainment system, navigation, rear camera visual, and more. But in a shocking move, Mazda plans to remove touchscreens from its lineup, starting with the 2019 Mazda3.
Contrary to what you might think, the move is not about saving money. In fact, Mazda plans to go back to tactile buttons and dials, which is actually more expensive than touchscreen technology.
So why is Mazda considering this change? It’s all about safety. Mazda did some research to understand how drivers interact with their touchscreens and how much it leads to distraction. Alarmingly, Mazda found that these screens take a lot of our attention because every surface of the screen feels the same, meaning we actually have to look to ensure we are pressing the right buttons. Mazda’s study also notes that drivers can accidentally turn the steering wheel while reaching for the touchscreen.
AAA and the University of Iowa’s Dr. Dan McGehee have also done research into the matter and concluded that using the touchscreen instead of buttons for tasks like adjusting volume and temperature requires more of our attention. Touchscreens also increase strain on our eyes, which can be damaging during long trips.
El Dorado Mazda is glad that Mazda cares about your safety and is dedicated to keeping your eyes on the road.