The way life goes, there is only one constant thing and that is 'change'. Changes happen all the time whether we are ready for it or not. A lot of people say Nigeria is not ready for the 'Electric Car Era' because of the cost of running an electric car in Nigeria but guess what?. It will happen regardless because not every change meets you ready but guess what? We will adapt accordingly.
I am sure about not being the only one that has noticed that the screens in cars are not getting any smaller with every new release. I was finally struck and concerned when Nigeria's favourite brand decided to go all in to the business of giant screens.
The Almighty MBUX Screen for EQS
The all-new Mercedes-Benz EQC giant screen spans the whole length of the dashboard and I ask the big question. How would we survive giant screens in cars for our special country Nigeria where supercars cannot survive?. How do we make sure that these screens remain healthy throughout the cause of owning the car?
In analyzing this, we would be talking about the disadvantages of these big screens in our cars and we cannot talk about disadvantages without mentioning why the screens have to go bigger.
Let us get right in.
Why are car infotainment/display screens getting bigger?
The first thing to know is that there are three functions of display in a car: Primary, Secondary and Tertiary.
The Tesla Model X screen started this race
Primary Display Functions: This is the basic display that allows you to monitor speed, temperature and basic things.
Secondary Display Functions: This is the one that allows you to monitor things like air conditioning that change frequently but can be accomplished quickly.
Tertiary Display Functions: These are displays that take time to change and they are not fundamental to the driving of a car and examples will be: navigation with map and the clock display.
A simple analogy for the display functions in cars
So what is the reason?
The reason why touchscreen display and infotainment came into play in the first place was because of the ever-increasing tertiary display functions of cars with advancements in technology. Cars are getting more functions than mobile phones like music, controllable ambient lights, navigation, internet and so on.
Basically, we are having our phones and laptops in our cars now
Using buttons to navigate through these functions would require a lot of inputs that would waste a lot of time which is why a quick responsive touchscreen is a grand solution. This is the basic reason why cars are getting touch screens as a replacement for buttons.
Another important reason why cars are getting these screens would be because of aesthetics and management of in-car space. You cannot deny that these screens make cars look more aesthetically pleasing. The best example is the Mercedes-Benz EQC and the Tesla Model S. When you step into the car, it is the first thing you notice. One sexy screen turns a car into a space mobile from the future.
Hello, we just got to the part where we talk about the disadvantages of these big screens in cars to be driven in Nigeria. Are you ready?
Why giant Touchscreens in cars is bad for Nigerian drivers
1. These screens distract a lot of drivers
Touchscreen infotainment screens distract a lot of drivers because of how engaging they can get, thanks to touch sounds and voice guides that get drivers so intrigued with what is going on on the infotainment screen. It is one of the leading causes of car accidents in Nigeria and all over the world
It is a leading cause of accidents on roads today
The Tesla screen, for example, has 90 per cent of the car's onboard function linked to the screen and it gets impossible to not look at this beautiful screen as you drive.
The UK’s TRL, formerly the Transport Research Laboratory, carried out an initial study in 2020 on the type and length of distractions caused by touchscreens. It found that choosing a track on Spotify had drivers looking away from the road for as much as 20 seconds which is enough time for the worst accident to happen to a distracted driver.
How car infotainment used to be, this can't distract you
This is why automakers strive every day to give cars more safety and warning features to compensate for the distraction caused by these infotainment screens.
2. Nigerians buy foreign used cars
We live in a country where 80 per cent of the cars bought have been used in another country for over 6/7 years just so that they could carry the tag "Toks" but guess what? This won't work well with the big screen cars.
Touchscreen infotainment systems lose their sensitivity as they age so tell me how a 15-year-old car will still have a standard touchscreen infotainment system?
Buying a car like this "used" is scary as hell
Also, touchscreen infotainment systems would be majorly made out of breakable materials and because of how exposed they are, they could easily break. When an original screen breaks, replacement doesn't come cheap and easy.
The fragility of these screens would play a big role in making cars incomplete when being bought in the foreign used car market of Nigeria.
3. We lack internet community dependent features
A lot of these new cars with full touchscreen infotainment systems always have cloud-based functions that don't work in Nigeria like Tesla the Tesla Car Summon.
The owner of a Tesla Model X in Lagos told us that his Tesla was blacklisted because the car was shipped to Nigeria and Tesla Motors could not extend its cloud-based services to the car hence, some functions won't work at all.
Cars like this need a proper technology cloud and Nigeria doesn't have that
Teslas are able to do a lot of things that can't work here in Nigeria like ordering parts themselves and searching for the nearest charging station. All these functions would have been impossible without the big 17" touch screen.
So what do we do?
There is absolutely nothing that can be done to avoid the issues with cars that come with large infotainment screens. It is just best to avoid cars with big touchscreen infotainment systems when buying foreign used cars pending the time when automakers will perfect the quality and durability of these touchscreen systems.
This is how all the touch screen things started
For people that already have a giant touch screen in cars, you need to be very protective and defensive with it. Always alert your passengers about the type of screen you carry so they can be more careful when moving around in the car.
No throwing around of stuff, no random swinging of hands or leaning on the dashboard. While cleaning the interior also, you need to make sure water doesn't touch the screen.
As you can see, it is a lot of care that needs to be put in place to make sure your giant screen remains healthy.
Giant screens in cars are the future but we need to be fully ready to accommodate that change.
I hope you have been able to understand why car screens got bigger and how to handle it to remain safe as they pose a lot of driving dangers majorly driven by the distraction of drivers while on the steering.
>>> Get brand new, foreign used, and locally used cars on our car for sale section. Do check them out!