Tech

Lexus Considers Move Back to Touchscreen Interfaces

Lexus LF-CC Interior

In a recent interview with the Lexus UK blog, general manager of Lexus Design Koichi Suga suggests that future vehicles will move back to touchscreens for infotainment — here’s the direct quote:

“Interior design is becoming more important, as new technologies need to be well executed and well integrated. Lexus interiors have always focused on their human machine interface technologies, ensuring that these are easy to use, easy to operate and easy to monitor. Now people seem to prefer touchscreens, so we need to respond to that demand.”

The Remote Touch controller debuted with the 2010 RX crossover, and quickly replaced touchscreens across the Lexus lineup. Only the Lexus GX survived intact, which can be attributed to a cabin design unchanged since 2013:

Lexus GX Interior

Moving back to touchscreen interfaces would transform how Lexus interiors are designed, as most current vehicles have displays embedded deep in the dashboard, making them difficult to reach by hand. There’s also the question of what would happen to the Remote Touch controller — is Lexus willing to drop the whole thing after such a significant investment of time and energy?

Comments
L
I personally would prefer if they went back to touch screens, way easier to use.
C
10 months now owning the Stinger with the touchscreen interface and no way would I trade that for the current RTI/screen setup Lexus offers.

I don't like the smudges and the screen although closer requires my head to turn more to the right taking my eyes/peripheral vision a little further away from the road. Journalists (mainly) complain about the RTI stating it's distracting but fail to point out that the Lexus screen is further back and more in the line of sight of the driver than a closer touchscreen can ever be. The few journalists that have actually had a Lexus for a longer period of time ended up warming up to the interface more.

Now, having experienced both the "mouse" and touchpad RTIs on my Lexus vehicles over the years, I do prefer the touchpad. Set to the lowest force feedback setting, the control is accurate and simple with the swipe and tap of a finger. On the other hand, the mouse requires more physical control and movement which can get more easily perturbed over rough roads (and the main source of journalists' "complaints").

If Lexus pursues a touchscreen, I would hope it's to have the touchpad as touchscreen and to leave the 10-12" screen (or larger in the future) in its current ergonomically correct and safer place.
A
Touchscreen is way faster to use. The RTI is really slow and distracts more.

Taking the finger and pointing somwhere goes quite easy as everybody knows where his finger is at the moment.

When using the RTI, you have to look for the cursor on the screen and then move it. If you look back on the street for a moment you have to "search" it again. That is really slow.

Best for use in a car (car moves, shakes etc. while driving) in my opinion is the old style piezo-resistive touch. Capacitive sometimes gives you false clicks when the car shakes.
  • GSCT
  • September 25, 2018
I really hope Lexus keeps the remotes. I remember my 2008 IS always had fingerprints all over the screen and was just as distracting to use as a remote interface. I also much prefer the screen to be close to “heads up” vision and like the IS or GS applications where the screen is kept as far away from direct sunlight as possible and touch screens generally prohibit both features. Given how well voice commands are being developed, physical screen interfaces may not be required at all.
arrow1982
Touchscreen is way faster to use. The RTI is really slow and distracts more.

Taking the finger and pointing somwhere goes quite easy as everybody knows where his finger is at the moment.

When using the RTI, you have to look for the cursor on the screen and then move it. If you look back on the street for a moment you have to "search" it again. That is really slow.

Best for use in a car (car moves, shakes etc. while driving) in my opinion is the old style piezo-resistive touch. Capacitive sometimes gives you false clicks when the car shakes.
Lexus is most likely talking about Land Rover/Audi dual screen setups and if you've been inside Velar you would know that you need to look down in order to do anything on the screen. Reason why the industry will switch to screens only and eliminate physical buttons is cost effectiveness.
This return to a touchscreen may start happening as soon as the Model Year 2020 RX mid-life facelift/refresh if another thread on our forums turns out to be accurate.
  • krew
  • September 26, 2018
Joaquin Ruhi
This return to a touchscreen may start happening as soon as the Model Year 2020 RX mid-life facelift/refresh if another thread on our forums turns out to be accurate.
:cool:
S
I definitely prefer the set up we have now with a controller and the screen at eye-level. Once you make something touch screen, it'll force drivers to move their eyes further away from the road.
If you get used to Enform 1.0 (mouse) and Enform 2.0 (touchpad), you'll find yourself barely taking your eyes off the road that often. Plus the screen is eye level so you'll still be able to see the road.

Is it possible for Lexus to do a controller and a touch screen combination set-up?
R
2 points.

1) Pretty much every review of the 2019 ES I've watched(and I've watch just about all) mentioned the current touchpad as a negative. So its a no brainer that its something Lexus should fix.

2) Bring back the A/C button already.
Wow it really takes a complete rethink on interiors... gone will be the ipads on the dash ala the Germans.....

I also wonder would we lose transmission handles and open more space up in other ways....

And bring back the drivers side cup holder in the RX and the storage under the dash :D
  • GTG
    GTG
  • September 28, 2018
Wow this is great news just great news , for the 2014 and 2016 cars I have had the interface is safe . No one should be putting in direction when moving but it would be useful for the front passenger to do so . The graphics are Sega Genesis like but clear and not confusing. The pad and the mouse are both slow and it cheapens the car interior look . Hence the new LS , every thing is in the navigation, it should of had a new touch screen system made for it . If they do so it should come on the New IS . Dual screens , one screen just make it great ! No taking away knobs and switches . No gimmicks, just a great touch navigation system that has nothing to do with Toyota’s .please so that all the motor journalists could stop saying the car is good but .
I never had any issues with the Lexus trackpad, thought it was just fine. Always had that gut instinct that most people who complain about it don't really hate it much either. Ever wonder why every review on the LC had nothing bad to say except for one common item? the infotainment, but why? were they original complaints or mirrored (confirmed bias) complaints?

Touchscreen is still superior and can't wait for lexus to start implementing some futuristic applications. Now that there are curved OLED and bezel-less screens, they will have the room to do some creative executions. Doesn't the 3IS have touch temperature control? And all of Lexus vanity lights are also touch LED nowadays.
  • GTG
    GTG
  • September 29, 2018
zeusus
I never had any issues with the Lexus trackpad, thought it was just fine. Always had that gut instinct that most people who complain about it don't really hate it much either. Ever wonder why every review on the LC had nothing bad to say except for one common item? the infotainment, but why? were they original complaints or mirrored (confirmed bias) complaints?

Touchscreen is still superior and can't wait for lexus to start implementing some futuristic applications. Now that there are curved OLED and bezel-less screens, they will have the room to do some creative executions. Doesn't the 3IS have touch temperature control? And all of Lexus vanity lights are also touch LED nowadays.[/QUOTE. Th
zeusus
I never had any issues with the Lexus trackpad, thought it was just fine. Always had that gut instinct that most people who complain about it don't really hate it much either. Ever wonder why every review on the LC had nothing bad to say except for one common item? the infotainment, but why? were they original complaints or mirrored (confirmed bias) complaints?

Touchscreen is still superior and can't wait for lexus to start implementing some futuristic applications. Now that there are curved OLED and bezel-less screens, they will have the room to do some creative executions. Doesn't the 3IS have touch temperature control? And all of Lexus vanity lights are also touch LED nowadays.
I agree with the pad but it is still slow , faster than the mouse thou . The touch lights in the cars are great . If Lexus can do all of this technology why then do they not reach further when they can , I know contacts with company for components, and life span of systems for profits, but when you have every other brand ahead of you in this one area and your bottom line is not being effected , well I guess there taking there time to get it right . It is just amazing thou Nissan , Honda , and Toyota there cars fall off the shelves more so because they last longer and is easy to fix , could it be they have seen that the infotainment system is not as important as durability and craftsmanship .
Just my opinion of course, but I really liked the RTI in my GS's. I got really good with them and rarely needed to take my eyes off the road to make my more common selections. I have had my RC for almost 2 years now and absolutely HATE the touchpad. It is extremely unintuitive. It even makes selections (map screen only) without double tapping or pressing down on the touchpad, just by placing your finger on it when trying to move the curser. It gets so frustrating that I almost punched the screen once (yes, I know "anger management").
BTW, when I use a laptop I almost always plug a mouse into it because it works much better than the touchpad.
Of course Lexus could do what BMW does and have an RTI and touchscreen at the same time. I drive a lot of cars and this current generation of iDrive is by far the best infotainment interface I have used (in my opinion).
  • GTG
    GTG
  • September 30, 2018
Enthusiast88
Just my opinion of course, but I really liked the RTI in my GS's. I got really good with them and rarely needed to take my eyes off the road to make my more common selections. With the mouse controller you knew where the end of the screen was because the controller was moved to the farthest end (up, down, left or right) and wouldn't move any more. you totally lose that with the touch pad so you have to continuously follow the curser with your eyes to know where you are on the screen. This is the biggest drawback.
I have had my RC for almost 2 years now and absolutely HATE the touchpad. It is extremely unintuitive. It even makes selections (map screen only) without double tapping or pressing down on the touchpad, just by placing your finger on it when trying to move the curser. It gets so frustrating that I almost punched the screen once (yes, I know "anger management").
BTW, when I use a laptop I almost always plug a mouse into it because it works much better than the touchpad.
Of course Lexus could do what BMW does and have an RTI and touchscreen at the same time. I drive a lot of cars and this current generation of iDrive is by far the best infotainment interface I have used (in my opinion).
Boss ! You said it , summed it up well . The touchscreen should come back with a secondary way to in put as well , this will as least get people that drive other brands to look so where else and leave them . All it boils down to is sales , and Lexus has a better product than most , just need to make sure they have a better product than all .
Enthusiast88
BTW, when I use a laptop I almost always plug a mouse into it because it works much better than the touchpad.
Of course Lexus could do what BMW does and have an RTI and touchscreen at the same time. I drive a lot of cars and this current generation of iDrive is by far the best infotainment interface I have used (in my opinion).
I agree iDrive is very very good, as is Audi Mmi IMO....And Benz Smart.. took over a decade to figure out but they all work very well.

Ironically the Japanese brands always get knocked for their systems..
I actually like the remote touch interface, I hate seeing fingerprints on touchscreens.
Modern anti-fingerprint coatings are quite effective for this kind of application. These coatings are not very helpful on smartphones but that's because one will touch or swipe the screen more times in a day than they'll do on the car infotainment in a month. I don't see fingerprints becoming a problem as long as Lexus doesn't cheap out on the coating (it's actually neglible cost at 25 cents for a tablet-size screen).

I really hope they keep physical AC dials. Something as simple as changing the temperature is a PITA on any full touchscreen cars that have no physical buttons.

S
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