• Mar 4, 2009
There is one aspect of the 2010 Prius that AutoblogGreen didn't highlight in its recent info overload post on the 2010 Toyota Prius: the Touch Tracer Display. There is usually nothing in front of the speedometer in most cars; we want a clear view of how fast we're going, right? But there are also a lot of buttons on the steering wheel and constantly shifting our view from the road to the volume or temperature controls isn't exactly a safe way to drive. To combat furtive downward glances, Toyota has come up with the TTD, which goes into action when you push the circular buttons on the steering wheel. Doing so causes little orange lights to appear on a screen that looks as if it's hovering on top of the speedometer. The effect is definitely neat and kind of surprising the first time it happens. Once you learn to expect it, however, the feature is a great visual cue to go along with the wheel-mounted controls. Toyota says this is the "the first display system in the world to allow steering wheel controls to read out on the instrument panel." We doubt it'll be the last.



[Source: Toyota]


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  • 14 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Leftover N64 controllers?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Display on the windshield are what's missing in my daily drive, we need more of that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My Grand Prix GXP has HUD and I love it so much. HUD would be the most missed feature of my car when I have to trade it in for something else, I haven't looked at my dash in years.
      • 5 Years Ago
      but with the speedo/instruments in the center of the dash, is this technology really all that safe and/or useful? i could see it being put to better use with the speedo in its 'normal' position, in front of the driver.

      unless i'm wrong about the new Prius having centered instruments...
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Flashpoint: Fascinating.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pointless. You need feedback before you press the buttons, not after. I can tell I raised the volume or mode by listening once I've done it.

      The simple tactile buttons provide more feedback than these displays, and with even less attention.

      Now, if the displays lit up when you merely touched the buttons instead of as you press them, then it could tell me something about where my finger is before I've committed to my action.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Have to agree.

        If you have to have many buttons, haptics is where it is at.

        And why do you need 10 buttons on the steering wheel directly? is the console completely out of reach?

        and just displaying what you are doing already, it is distracting. It might start to look like error lights coming up, then when error lights do come up, they get ignored more easily.

        Information economy is just as important as information availability. Ergonomics and useage study is important, and not to just be thrown together.

        I would much rather see the advent of HUD information that is actually pertinent, rather than just visual duplication of ancillary information.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "I would much rather see the advent of HUD information that is actually pertinent, rather than just visual duplication of ancillary information."

        Now say that in English :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        They do light up before you press them. They sense touch then you can push the switch.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Eh, normally you have to reach over and hit the little recirculate button on the dashboard, whose little light lights up.

        This just makes it so that they can put all kinds of controls on the steering wheel that normally need lights on the dash, and now you can still tell whether you hit it correctly cuz it's on the HUD.

        I agree that it's less useful for something like volume controls where you can tell already, but for the other stuff it'll prevent you from having to look down.

        It's not a revolution or anything but it's still nice to be able to keep your eyes on the road if you want to.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree, I think raised buttons would be MUCH easier for someone to tell, using tactile feedback, rather than looking down. Take for example my Chevy key fob. UNLOCK is raised, while LOCK is a depression. Makes sense to me when I feel it.

        Also, how about a display on the windshield? Easier to see.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The prius does indeed have central instruments. It's odd but the placement doesnt actually detract from visibility once you get used to it. It actually enchances visibility(assuming decent sized instruments, not like on the 1st gen xB)... the problem is getting used to it.

      I dont understand why automakers dont add HUDs. GM has been doing it for years and this would be the perfect application. Speedometer+odometer+vital info like battery charge/steering wheel controls floating at he bottom of you view on the glass seems to just make sense and it isnt expensive at all.
        • 5 Years Ago
        When I switched recently from a vehicle with a centre mounted gauge cluster to the old steering wheel position, I found that I missed it, but it’s really only a matter of being accustomed to one or the other. I can’t understand why everyone moans and complains about the centre mounted cluster, it makes far more sense, and actually offers packaging and ergonomics improvements.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How about just creating a more ergonomic layout so that people don't have to look down? I never have to look down on my car.
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