Pilots’ Perspective: The Good and Bad of Modern Car UI

Modern car user interface (Design Pilot/YouTube)

The automotive industry has lost touch with enthusiasts, prioritizing technology over driving experience. Cars have become overly complicated, with features that distract from the joy of driving. To explore this, we asked airline pilot Jane Foden to evaluate the Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+, comparing its systems to her Airbus A350.

Foden found the car’s infotainment system bewildering, with unclear labeling and jargon-heavy instructions. She struggled to use features like parking assistance and remote parking, requiring extensive time and practice to understand. The Airbus’s controls are intuitive, clearly labeled, and simple, allowing pilots to focus on flying.

Car UI (Design Pilot/YouTube)

The automotive industry’s obsession with technology has led to a cluttered and distracting driving experience. Cars are designed for Bear Grylls-style adventures, not everyday driving. Meanwhile, the average car buyer is nearing 60, and Euro NCAP is urging manufacturers to prioritize physical, easy-to-use controls for top safety ratings.

The industry’s approach to technology is akin to throwing a pilot into a cockpit without training. It’s a recipe for disaster, encouraging driver distraction and decreasing safety.

Car manufacturers must rethink their approach, prioritizing simplicity and usability. The current trend of overcomplication is a far cry from the joy of driving that once defined the automotive industry.

By adopting a more straightforward approach, like the airliner industry, car manufacturers can create a more enjoyable and safe driving experience. It’s time to get back to basics and put the joy of driving first.

The industry must shift its focus from impressing tech-savvy enthusiasts to designing cars that are easy to use and enjoyable to drive. Only then can we reclaim the joy of driving and make our roads safer.