• Jul 31, 2009
As automakers continue to pile on the features to their high-end offerings, the connection between human and machine gets increasingly complicated. BMW was one of the first automakers to tackle the issue of button/switch overload with iDrive, only to enrage and alienate reviewers and owners alike. Despite the difficulties with using a control knob, Audi, Mercedes, Infiniti, Honda and others have adopted the interface with varying degrees of success.
Now Audi is reportedly trying a different approach for the next generation A8 which may or may not debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. AutoBild reports that the A8 may add a touchpad to the mix with handwriting recognition. Presumably drivers will be able to write out the letters for an address on the touch pad rather than using a rotary dial to pick them out. While using the dial can be a clunky process, handwriting recognition could increase driver distraction even more than wart-manipulation.

[Source: Autobild]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is a really bad idea. I mean, really bad.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is it just me... or is an "M" being typing, while the system is recognizing an "A"?

      Looks like the system might need a little work!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think the driver is searching for Ham. Drive-thru ham joints are probably common in Ingolstadt, I don't know, I've never been there.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Very true.
        Though it seems like a nice feature, what exactly is the point versus speech recognition and what will the input be for the handwriting?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Or Hamburg, seeing as it is in Germany, after all :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hahahaha.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The wacko that thought this one up should be restrained in a chair while Yoko Ono albums are played at top volume in an endless loop. Kidney stones should be surgically implanted and upon release of these stones, replaced forever more. I could keep going but I'm sure I have been restrained with my response.
      Thank you for reading this post
        • 5 Years Ago
        You REALLY don't like writing out letters...
      • 5 Years Ago
      What exactly is the point of handwriting recognition in a car? The reason I use a computer is because my handwriting isn't the best. I agree this would be very distracting.
        • 5 Years Ago
        i second you... that's just useless
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why not use speech recognition?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because Honda, Ford etc all has it and does not make it special.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is a classic case of, "an answer in search of a question" .
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah, I agree, speech recognition should be incorporated; the technology and software for it has progressed so much over the past several years. With my new iPhone, I can verbally tell it to play a certain playlist, music by a certain artist, call a contact, dial the numbers I say out loud (just to name a few commands), and it will do it with great accuracy...and I don't have to do any voice conditioning line reading like you would with less sophisticated voice recognition systems. Surely Audi can utilize this technology in their $70,000+ flagship sedan.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Interesting, but the palm pilots already do that, and I would rather people use voice instead of writing and driving.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Actually I'd rather write out letters using a touchpad than twisting and pushing a rotary dial to pick them out singly. And talking about distraction while driving, even a child can write out letters without looking at their fingers while the rotary dial forces you to gaze at the screen for seconds to hit the right option.- Altough speech recognition is my favorite, touchpad would be my 1st. choice while talking hands free on my phone while driving.... Most likely the pad can also be used for scrolling the map or hitting a fast "z" for "Zorba" in the depths of the cars adress book. Or tuning to a radio station? Looking forward to getting my hands on this;-)

      • 5 Years Ago
      The point is that Audi will have this, and other makes won't.

      Exclusivity appears to be a virtue unto itself.
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