Lexus is looking to return to touchscreens for vehicle infotainment, replacing their much maligned Remote Touch controllers — from a recent Carbuzz interview with Lexus USA general manager David Christ:
When asked what Lexus’ consumer research says about consumer preferences in infotainment, Christ said “both our research and the industry research indicates that people want to touch the screen. It’s intuitive and it’s easy, so that’s something we are taking a strong look at.”
“The more you can make functionality similar to what people are used to seeing here,” Christ said while pointing at a smartphone, “the better you are.”
“We have had feedback that there are some things that functionally, you have to dig down through menus to get to. The consumers don’t like that, both with us and competitors. So that kind of ease of use is a key driving force of what we want our infotainment system to be. We acknowledge that we need a great system out there because the current system is not well-rated by consumers. So we want to improve upon that.”
As a concept, Remote Touch seemed like a homerun — when the first iteration debuted in the 2010 RX, everyone was still using a mouse with their computer or a trackpad with their laptop.
The reality is both a mouse and trackpad require focused attention, which is not ideal for navigating infotainment settings while driving. This has become even more pronounced with the rise and ongoing dominance of touchscreen devices. Lexus is right to be looking at alternatives.