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Tesla Model S Electric Sedan's Huge Haptic Touchscreen Dashboard In Action

When we first saw Tesla's Model S electric sedan, we noticed a big, flashy touchscreen taking the place of the dashboard's console. TechCrunch took a test drive and learned a little more about it.

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The Model S's touchscreen wasn't fully functional during the demo (the car's first with press), so internet browsing and presumably GPS weren't working. But we do know the touchscreen will control entertainment as well as navigation, and that it'll offer haptic feedback, probably rumbling a little bit when touched. The car should be priced around $50,000. [TechCrunch]

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DISCUSSION

Once again, this is still a stupid idea. In my current car, I can operate every single control for climate control, radio, seat heaters and so forth without looking at them, because they're physical knobs and switches that I can find by touch without accidentally turning them on.

Touch screens, even with haptic "click", do not match this level of performance.

I had an Alpine IVA-D310 in my car. It featured a piezoelectric click when you pushed a button, and it was quite convincing. Yet, I removed it partly because I couldn't operate it adequately without looking at it. It was also difficult to use when the vehicle was moving because there's no way to rest your fingers on a control, verify that they're on the right one, and then click — a big problem when the road is a little bumpy.