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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My current car (Lexus RX400h) has a small touchscreen. It's manageable, with about 6 large buttons per screen, and I don't need to have my reading specs on. The controls are simple enough that you learn the ones you need quite quickly.

But as I fine-tune my EV shortlist, I see that there's a significant move towards larger and more complicated touchscreen displays, as well as binnacle-based menu systems. Slowly but surely it seems, dedicated push-buttons are disappearing from the dashboard of each new generation.

How are folks who have normal sight for distance but need specs for close objects/reading getting on?

Any advice?
 

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MG EZS 2020
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I wear bifocals, but have had to get myself a pair of single lens (long sight) glasses to be able to read the fine detail on the sat nav on the centre console of the MG. Reading glasses part doesn't focus that far away. Have to remember to switch them over before the start of a longer journey otherwise my head is bobbing up and down to get things in focus. This is a little dangerous as my concentration is away from the road.
 
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Absolutely awful tbh.
This move away from analogue dials for the basics like heating controls etc will probably see me stop using the latest EVs altogether.
I'm becoming a liability on the roads and I'm only 52!
Presently wear bi-focals and just cannot get on with them in any vehicle without actual buttons to press and dials to turn. You can train your body to use these functions through repetition, but the latest touchscreens don't afford this, so you have to take your eyes off the road far too often for my liking.
 

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As an alternative it might be worth talking to your optician about varifocals. The focal length of the lense changes from long sighted to shortsighted as you move down the lens. This means you don't get a hard line down the centre. They take a bit of getting used to and they are not for everyone but many people find them very good. They're not cheap from the opticians but they can be purchased from Internet suppliers for substantially less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. I did see that the older Kia/Hyundai EVs were criticised for their relatively low-tech screens (criticised by reviewers that is). Bother seem to have more single-function buttons, whereas the latest models have fancier screens (no doubt a lot easier to do in a world of constant software updating).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As an alternative it might be worth talking to your optician about varifocals. The focal length of the lense changes from long sighted to shortsighted as you move down the lens. This means you don't get a hard line down the centre. They take a bit of getting used to and they are not for everyone but many people find them very good. They're not cheap from the opticians but they can be purchased from Internet suppliers for substantially less.
I'd rather not wear specs at all - especially as I don't need them at all for the actual driving.
 

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Sadly everyone loses eye sight accommodation with age, most people need correction at one end of the scale (reading or short sighted) or both by the time they drawer their pension.
 

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I really don't understand this obsession with moving towards touchscreen. Where you can't 'feel' yourself around keeping your eyes on the road, you have to take them off it to look at what you're doing. Then there's inputting navigation info on the move. Impossible - one bump and your fingers all over the place. My wife's Nissan is awful for this, although only for Nav and Radio. The HVAC and other controls are still manual. Even in the 330 I have the choice of using the touch screen, but the iDrive is safer all day long. Must be even worse when all heater and air con controls are virtual too...
 

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I'm short sighted, so need glasses for driving anyway, but found the dash instruments getting increasingly problematic.
I've tried varifocals in the past, as my wife swears by them, but couldn't get on with them.
So I get the optician to make make me bifocals with my intermediate prescription (sometimes called computer prescription) in the lower part. I also get the height of the split set so it's along the top of the dash with my head in a normal driving position.
Worked well for 10-15 years now and it's actually quite helpful in other places, like shopping.

For those with long sight you could get those 'bottom only' reading glasses with an intermediate prescription in them.
 

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I really don't understand this obsession with moving towards touchscreen.
Vaguely related... Golf 8 GTE and Golf ehybrid

cdlb said:
... in the industry that I work in, manufacturers are getting rid of mechanical buttons in favour of touch sensing for reliability more than cost. Buttons have a finite number of clicks (MTBF of ~10k clicks springs to mind, but don't quote me on that), and are prone to stick/jamming/breaking because of dirt, dust, moisture, etc. getting into them. Touch sensing gets rid of a lot of those headaches, at the cost of a more complex sensing frontend - so it becomes an electrical problem instead of a mechanical one.
This is referring to touch sensitive button replacements, but the same applies to a touchscreen. There is also an element of if people hate the UI, it is easy to change if it is touchscreen based, but a pain for a mechanical switch based system.

And for what it's worth, I think it's bull:poop: - I prefer mechanical buttons that you can find by feel, rather than having to look for and poke the right square millimetre of a piano black finger print magnet. I've been moaning about this since phones stopped having physical keyboards.
 

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As much as I love our 2015 Env200, which in the grand schme of things is very old tech, I also would prefer chunkier controls.
I understand the benifits of these screens & software. Its great for phones and computers where lookng at them is the point of the device. But in a vehicle where looking where you are going and the surroundings is surly a top priority, I just dont get it.

I have a row of physical buttons for the temparature, aircon, heating, air flow etc. yet they are relatively indistinguishable by feel, and I have to look to be sure. Im not sure how I would get on with a touch screen.
As a fellow glasses wearer, I have wondered how I would also find this in the future.
 

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I once told a friend who wore glasses he should get a car with prescription windows. He genuinely thought I was serious!! I led him on saying the only problem is trying to find a buyer when he tries to sell it, and that his wife wouldnt be able to drive it either. He still believed me and left disappointed.
 

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Touch screens don't add a lot of functionality that can't be provided with buttons and switches. In my view they should not be used in a moving car. My eyesight is normal but this issue will be important when selecting a new EV.
 

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MG EZS 2020
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My wife's Nissan is awful for this, although only for Nav.
This is about the only problem of this fashion with the MG. I can pretty much handle everything else with knobs and buttons. The heating controls are easy enough, but seeing the resultant settings (which appear on the touchscreen) are difficult to see if I don't switch my glasses, which I don't normally do when driving locally.
 

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As much as I love our 2015 Env200, which in the grand schme of things is very old tech, I also would prefer chunkier controls.
I understand the benifits of these screens & software. Its great for phones and computers where lookng at them is the point of the device. But in a vehicle where looking where you are going and the surroundings is surly a top priority, I just dont get it.

I have a row of physical buttons for the temparature, aircon, heating, air flow etc. yet they are relatively indistinguishable by feel, and I have to look to be sure. Im not sure how I would get on with a touch screen.
As a fellow glasses wearer, I have wondered how I would also find this in the future.
I too am in favour of buttons you can use by feel. I once had a Renault 25 with beautiful looking flush buttons that were hopeless. On the Golf GTE 7.5 I had until recently the buttons and knobs were brilliant ergonomically. The Golf 8 has gone all minimalist like my new ID3 so the choice is disappearing.

The three sliders under the big screen for heating temperature and radio volume are separated by ridges, so you can work them by feel. There's a separate little pad of touch switches, also separated by ridges, that cover the urgent access needs i.e. fog lights, rear screen heater and maximum windscreen demist. So somebody has thought about this stuff.

So it works well enough for me. Even if it takes a bit of getting used to. I must admit that it nearly put me off the car completely, but a second test drive solved it for me.
 

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Then there's inputting navigation info on the move.
Which AFAIK is probably illegal. It's certainly dangerous. Remember that lorry driver on the A34 that ran into a family and killed them while fiddling with his music screen? It may have been on a phone, but no difference. You can still be charged with dangerous driving if something goes wrong. If you need to change your previously set up route, then pull over and do it while stationary.

As for reading screens, plus one for varifocals. I have worn them for years and they are ideal in situations like this. Once you are used to them, you don't notice the small changes you make in head position to accommodate different distances.
 

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Kind of like the car equivalent of this:
With more years on the clock, I can see the looming attraction of the big button phones. I dread to think what mobile phones and other interfaces will be like in 30 years.

Would echo what mike mentioned earlier about trying a reduced prescription for anyone shortsighted. I could not work at a computer with 20/20 vision glasses as it would give me headaches. I was recommended reduced prescription about 30 years ago when I started to do eye relaxation training. It didn't reduce dependance on glasses, but I credit it with stopping me escalate to beer glass thick lenses.

Echo what @ghostbusters just mentioned. Perhaps there's a reasoning to having lots of physical buttons in a car!🤦‍♂️
 
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