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Apple to dabble in automotive industry with in-car touchscreen

By David Tom
Jul 10, 2013
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  1. Apple continues to expand its reach. It started out as a business dedicated to personal computers, and quickly became the industry leader in both music and smartphones. So what's next on the Cupertino-based company's radar?

    Read more
  2. Apple also has a patent about car with 4 tires and an engine.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT TS Evangelist Posts: 1,790   +540

    That picture is worth 1000 stories...

    Will the engine look like the new Mac Pro though?
  4. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,066   +704

    The first time I used an iPod it felt like an item from the future, so I'm going to reserve judgement on what Apple may do to a car until we see some real results.

    But I have a feeling that if we'd been using touchscreens for 20 years and someone came along and said that instead of touching everything on a screen we're going to have a little lever that controls the wipers that you click once for each speed iteration, everyone would love it. If someone made a little dial for radio volume we'd all prefer it over a touch screen. Some major car models now are moving away from touchscreens already. It makes me wonder if what Apple is planning is an improvement or just innovation for the sake of innovation and Apple knowing full well that anything that says 'Apple' will sell.
  5. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 6,942   +899

    Eh, too much Apple!
  6. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 970   +84

    Big fat piece of glass to reflect the sun into my face.
  7. Nobina

    Nobina TS Booster Posts: 380   +79

    Why the hell would I need touchscreen in a car? It's much easier to control stuff when you can acctually feel what you are pressing and you don't have to look away from the road.
    Skidmarksdeluxe and m4a4 like this.
  8. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,066   +704

    Hence the line about ...."To combat this issue, Apple's patent outlines a touchscreen with built-in tactile elements." Tactile...aka, bumpy. :)
  9. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,285   +232

    The big auto makers that have been in the industry for a long time (some over a century) have moved as much control away from external positions as possible... There is a reason that the important control levers are mounted within finger reach without requiring hands to leave the steering wheel, and that steering wheel mounted thumb controls for auxiliary functions (cruise, radio, etc) are becoming the norm. See, they've actually done the ergonomics and safety studies, and are trying to make driving safer. Even if Apple has "tactile elements" in a touchscreen, it still requires moving your hand away from the wheel. Considering all of the media and safety / law enforcement concentration on "distracted driving" these days, I can't see them approving of Apple's ideas, no matter how ingenious they might be.

    But hey, when they get all of those autonomous driving cars with no need to pay attention and hang onto the wheel to keep from dying, that big touchscreen control system would be just fine...
  10. Oh my God! Apple is copying the idea from Tesla car using touchscreen interface on its dashboard..
    Careful Tesla, because apple will sue Tesla, even Tesla cars got the idea first rather than apple :D
    Kezhen Gao likes this.
  11. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Guru Posts: 1,308   +479

    Unless I'm mistaken, Audi actually "got the idea first" back in 2005: http://www.caranddriver.com/news/audi-shooting-brake-auto-shows
     
  12. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Guru Posts: 1,308   +479

  13. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,346   +396

    The Tesla cars already have this. I'm sure there will be a lawsuit in the making if Apple does anything remotely similar to what Tesla is already doing.
  14. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 3,030   +738

    The simpler car cabin switch gear is, the better. LCD screens (especially touchscreens) are very distracting.
  15. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Enthusiast Posts: 342   +56

    This is one place where touchscreens are not better having levers, buttons, knobs and other physical switches makes it possible to change things without ever having to look at the touchscreen. With a touchscreen, especially one with multiple level menus, it means you have to take your eyes off the road in order to see what you want to do and that is dangerous.
  16. Nobina

    Nobina TS Booster Posts: 380   +79

    IMO, touchscreens are not better anywhere, physical buttons are simpler to use because of the tactile response (I can feel what I'm pressing) and muscle memory. Touchscreen just looks nice, and when people saw it, it looked like technology from the future, that's all.


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