Ford is returning buttons after touchscreen distraction fears

Ford plans to restore buttons and knobs to its high-tech dashboards, after drivers complained that touchscreen-centric infotainment systems made common tasks like adjusting volume demand too much attention. The car company still maintains that its SYNC and MyFord Touch systems, which see increasingly large LCD displays take center-stage in the dashboard, are popular among drivers, with 79-percent of new 2013 cars sold featuring the systems. However, as of the 2014 F-150, the finger-friendly – but potentially distracting – panels will be rejoined by more traditional controls.

However, Raj Nair, global product development chief at the car maker, filled in the background for the WSJ, saying that Ford had made sure “to spend a lot of time with customers to find what exactly are the areas that are bothering them.” Among the common pain-points, he explained, were the hassles in changing radio channel or volume “through familiar knobs”, those functions instead being handled by a touchscreen UI.

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