Tesla Model 3's Touch Screen Will Anger Older Drivers & Enthusiasts Alike
Of all the many different cars we've managed to test on the road, the main gripe we keep running into is how annoying touchscreen infotainment systems can really be. The combination of road bumps, keeping your eyes on the road, and reaching out to touch a glossy (and sometimes sun-glare ridden) interface, often results in hitting the wrong button and bringing you into a whole different set of archaic menus. Backing out requires you to do the same song and dance, at which point you say to yourself: "Forget it, I'll just figure out how to get there without the nav."
If the thought of fiddling with a touchscreen already makes you cringe, you need to get yourself ready for another level of frustration with the upcoming Tesla Model 3's touchscreen. The "infotainment" system is no longer just that, rather it's the centerpiece in which EVERYTHING about the car can be controlled. While the Model S already integrated most features into its big portrait touchscreen, the Model 3 takes it just that much further.
If you always thought that the windshield wiper stalk sticking out of the steering column is a big design flaw, you'll appreciate how those controls have been embedded into the massive iPad Pro-sized screen in the middle of the Model 3. If you disliked how you constantly have to fiddle with four air vents to give you optimal cooling, you'll fall in love with how you can now direct airflow, like an omnipotent creator of the universe, with a single swipe and a couple of taps.
The young millennials among us may completely fall in love with the idea of a more centralized control center, in exchange for the noisy interior design language afforded by physical buttons, dials, and levers. I'm also ready to admit that what Tesla has done with this interface is reflective of what the future holds for motoring and the concept of driving. However, as we transition from zero-autonomy to fully-autonomous driving modes, while still driving on imperfect roads, the idea of using a touchscreen to manipulate everything brings up frustrating memories of mishitting buttons and re-tapping the germ-filled block of glass multiple times because it didn't register the first time.
Old man rant over.