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Old 30th April 2021, 22:10   #1
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Default Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!

After Nexon, Tata has removed physical infotainment control buttons from the Altroz. The picture was shared by a new owner in this Facebook group.

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Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!-177528523_2202463299885558_5503676216067569047_n.jpg  

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Old 30th April 2021, 22:17   #2
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Default Re: Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!

What is wrong with these people? Have they ever tried to adjust the radio volume or change channel driving on a bumpy road? Let me see you do that with your stupid touch screen mr smarty pants.

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Old 30th April 2021, 22:59   #3
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Default Re: Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!

1. One thing for sure, it is far cheaper and easier to have touchscreen controls than physical controls like buttons or knobs when you have a touchscreen infotainment system. [Case in point, I had to buy more components + download plugins, take care various settings to make hardware systems like volume knob work with a simple DIY touchscreen media player which also happens to have touch screen controls for media playback/volume]

2. With the more premium cars moving towards all touchscreen system [like Tesla/Porsche/Ferrari] - these mainstream manufacturers can push touchscreen changes as 'upgrades' - which I personally feel plain stupid. As it is almost impossible for me to control anything with touchscreen without taking eyes off from road. [So much so that I've not changed my Verna's stock HU as doing so I'll lose superbly tactile volume knob + media control buttons. ]

Last edited by somspaple : 30th April 2021 at 23:02.
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Old 30th April 2021, 23:16   #4
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Default Re: Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!

I like old school more than anything else when it comes to physical buttons over touch screen. However we must look at the modern way of doing things when most of these functions can be done through voice control assistant. I believe at times voice command is somewhat more road safety friendly than manual and Altroz does have a ton of things that can be controlled using voice commands including AC.



Years back when several smart phones did away with dedicated navigation buttons and made them part of the touch screen we did compain a lot but eventually got used to it. We will start liking this one too.
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Old 1st May 2021, 10:59   #5
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Default Re: Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!

Quote:
Originally Posted by somspaple View Post
One thing for sure, it is far cheaper and easier to have touchscreen controls than physical controls like buttons or knobs when you have a touchscreen infotainment system.
Until now I used to keep thinking why would they take away such a user-friendly feature. I always like my AC controls to be physical buttons, audio controls can still be forgiven thanks to the steering mounted controls. After reading your point, it totally makes sense.

Removing buttons means lesser initial costs, and malfunctions can be repaired via a simple software update, resulting in lesser replacement costs and turnaround time.
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Old 1st May 2021, 14:45   #6
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Default Re: Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!

Operating the touchscreen on these Tatas isn't too much of a pain. The newer systems have most of the oft-used controls easily accessible from the home screen.
And while driving, that little ledge below the display serves as a nice perch for your fingers to steady your hand.
Instead of trying to jab at tiny touch buttons like on the old City's aircon.
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Old 1st May 2021, 15:44   #7
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Default Re: Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!

There are two things to think about -
This change affects the higher variants of both Nexon and ALtroz. What about the lower variants?
Also, don't these variants have steering mounted controls? Those should be easier and safer than the touch strip or even physical controls on the central dashboard.

Ideally, steering mounted controls should be made mandatory for all cars that come with some sort of ICE.
And whatever controls are provided integrated with the ICE can just be there for passengers to access. Driver can stick to steering mounted controls most of the time.
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Old 1st May 2021, 15:53   #8
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Default Re: Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!

I think TATA figured out that removing physical buttons will make their HU lag free otherwise I don't see a reason to remove them. Or if it's solely for the reason of cost cutting then it's completely illogical as then it's the driver who will have all the control not the front passenger, who can only use it when the touchscreen is working fine which at many times isn't. Try using GPS along with music and you are bound to make some U turns. Ironically audio instructions are real time but not the visual ones.

Fellow BHPians who have bought or will buy these vehicles, please share your experience with the HU.
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Old 1st May 2021, 17:00   #9
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Default Re: Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!

Can't really bother to write/rant again. Here is what I wrote in the Nexon infotainment control deletion thread.
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/car-e...ons-nexon.html (Tata removes physical ICE buttons from Nexon)

" damn DAMN!!!!

I appreciated Tata giving knobs and buttons in both the basic infotainment systems and higher touchscreen ones all across their newer models.

Not just namesake one's, proper separate buttons and knobs that were within your arm's reach easily. And then they go and remove it. Especially looking at Tata's below average record of freezing screens. Poor decision.

When the screen would inevitably freeze once a week, one way was to push both the knobs simultaneously for it to reset. With those buttons gone...

Ofcourse you have the steering mounted controls, but it has been proven many times that a volume knob is much more practical in real life. Maybe a scroll button or a prominently placed 'Mute' button on the steering wheel will be intuitive, but for most of the times a volume knob feels natural. Just have to look at the manufacturers globally.

The new gen 2022 Honda Civic sketches show the volume knob right in the driver's reach. This is from a company which learned a lesson and has gone back to buttons from customer feedback. Also all the new Toyota models based on the TNGA platforms have volume knobs/tuning knobs prominently in addition to touchscreens. They too tried to dab in touchscreen controls.

Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!-screenshot_20210404215019.jpg

BMW, arguably making the most driver focused cars. They still have a volume knob (eventhough they didn't change the position in the transition from LHD to RHD)

Best implementation have seen so far. Mazda. Another driver focused design. The touchscreen wouldn't be functional when the car is in motion. You have a BMW iDrive like controls and even a cute small volume knob right where the arm rests in the centre console.

Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!-mazda3-controller-knob-snip.jpg

And for those who want the latest tablet stuck on the dashboard. Well, Ford is doing this and so do I believe Land Rover.

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Would have been okay if it wasn't there in the first place. Like others, if the controls were part of the bezel and they had to remove it to enlarge the screen size. Okay, fine. Understandable.

But they went on to delete something that was of use and a great design too. While the touchscreen size remains the same. Just reeks of cost cutting, that too would probably be on customer feedback as well. Makes me wonder, where exactly do they get these people giving the feedbacks. "

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 1st May 2021 at 17:36. Reason: Attachments edited and linked back
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Old 1st May 2021, 17:02   #10
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Default Re: Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!

If they had provided better HU with bigger screens along with removal of the physical buttons, it would have been a good move. I simply do not understand the point of this deletion. Remove the buttons and save a few hundreds on production costs?
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Old 1st May 2021, 17:21   #11
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Default Re: Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!

Quote:
Originally Posted by S2K View Post
There are two things to think about -
This change affects the higher variants of both Nexon and ALtroz. What about the lower variants?
Also, don't these variants have steering mounted controls?
Lower variants still come with physical buttons. They are not touch screen and steering mounted controls are not available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tucker48 View Post
I think TATA figured out that removing physical buttons will make their HU lag free otherwise I don't see a reason to remove them.
Mine is XM variant which comes with non touch screen HU. Have observed lag while adjusting volume. It is irritating. This could be true for touch screen HU as well.

But, I am not sure if that is the real reason. If physical buttons cause lag, steering mounted controls will still have that issue.
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Old 1st May 2021, 17:36   #12
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Default Re: Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!

Gone are the days when talking on Mobile and driving was considered to be the main sin. Now you have a full tablet fixed in the car with no physical buttons, fully legal and ok to drive with them. Irony abounds.

All the in the name of updates and advancement in technology. Aren't cars supposed to be driven? Now they are becoming living rooms with home theatre system. LOL.
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Old 1st May 2021, 18:35   #13
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Default Re: Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!

Ever since the great Apple invented touch-screen phones, multimedia consumption has gone up a thousand times, exactly as much as the number of typos I do when typing stuff here on a touch phone, no wonder PDAs of yore came with a touch pen.

Touch controls and feather touch buttons are not nearly as good as the feedback and physical feel that you get from actual buttons, everytime I use the scroll-stick, or push the finely damped button when driving, I know I've selected the right option and by goodness it works beautifully.

The next thing I know we'll have a massive glass slab where the steering would sit and they'll program gyro sensors, haptic feedback and touch controls for steering, acceleration and braking, with AI interference should we make a mistake, just like today's automatic cars with rev limiters and software refusing to upshift in a pattern that is different from what has been hard- coded by efficiency conscious techies in a closed room playing NFS.

Electronics ruined car driving forever, software engineering buried it 6 feet under.

Last edited by dark.knight : 1st May 2021 at 18:38. Reason: Correcting touchscreen induced typos
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Old 1st May 2021, 19:21   #14
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Default Re: Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
Ever since the great Apple invented touch-screen phones, multimedia consumption has gone up a thousand times, exactly as much as the number of typos I do when typing stuff here on a touch phone, no wonder PDAs of yore came with a touch pen.

Touch controls and feather touch buttons are not nearly as good as the feedback and physical feel that you get from actual buttons, everytime I use the scroll-stick, or push the finely damped button when driving, I know I've selected the right option and by goodness it works beautifully.

Man! The reason which you have given for editing the post cracked me up.

Touchscreen has definitely brought about a revolution in our society. However, just like everything else, there needs to be a balance with respect to its use/application. The removal of these physical buttons is definitely upsetting that balance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
The next thing I know we'll have a massive glass slab where the steering would sit and they'll program gyro sensors, haptic feedback and touch controls for steering, acceleration and braking, with AI interference should we make a mistake, just like today's automatic cars with rev limiters and software refusing to upshift in a pattern that is different from what has been hard- coded by efficiency conscious techies in a closed room playing NFS.

Electronics ruined car driving forever, software engineering buried it 6 feet under.
Things like these truly scare me. Maybe by the time I am comfortable enough to buy something aspirational, these measures would more or less snatch away the soul of driving. It has already started with the lack of turbo diesel options in the market. I guess remapping my existing turbo diesel to the max is the way to go.

Last edited by AYP : 1st May 2021 at 19:23.
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Old 1st May 2021, 19:44   #15
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Default Re: Tata removes physical infotainment controls from the Altroz!

Apart from saving of cost and complexity they also have one advantage(for the company) of less maintenance overhead. If anything goes wrong they will pin it on the HU maker and send it their way.

Does the customer benefit ? Nope since removing a practical option never helps. Not to forget the usability issues already mentioned.
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