Search CarGuide.PH

March 7, 2024

Euro NCAP To Dock Points For Overreliance On Touchscreens

The European New Car Assessment Program or Euro NCAP intends to downgrade the safety rating of vehicles which primarily rely on touchscreens instead of buttons.

In a rule which is slated to take effect by January 2026, the Euro NCAP will deduct points for cars that don’t have buttons, stalks, or dials for: turn signals, hazard lights, horn, windshield wipers, and emergency call services.

This is seen as the first backlash against carmakers who have been adopting tablet-style touchscreens as the primary interface in their cars.

Euro NCAP's director of strategic development Matthew Avery explains the rationale:

“The overuse of touchscreens is an industry-wide problem, with almost every vehicle-maker moving key controls onto central touchscreens, obliging drivers to take their eyes off the road and raising the risk of distraction crashes. New Euro NCAP tests due in 2026 will encourage manufacturers to use separate, physical controls for basic functions in an intuitive manner, limiting eyes-off-road time and therefore promoting safer driving.”

During their tests, drivers were made to perform four simple tasks: turn on the heated seats, adjust the climate control by two degrees Celsius, and activate the rear defroster; power on the radio and setting the channel to a particular station; reset the trip computer; and finally, dim the interior lights and turn the center display off.

To level the playing field among the cars, the Swedish publication gave drivers the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the controls of each vehicle before testing. After they’ve become acclimatized to the controls, they then drove each car to 110 km/h while time required to make adjustments was measured.

At 110 km/h, a car travels about 30.5 meters per second, so easy-to-use controls can really be the difference between a smooth drive and a crash.

In the worst results during the test, drivers in the Subaru Outback took twice as long as compared to a vehicle with traditional buttons. The same goes for the MG Marvel R which took drivers 44.6 seconds to complete all four tasks. This meant that the Marvel R traveled more than a kilometer (1,372 meters to be exact).

It’s important to note that the Euro NCAP cannot mandate the return of physical controls as it’s an independent crash test body. That said, they do have sway given their five-star safety ratings are sought after.


  1. So toyota has been right all along

    1. You mean Mazda...

    2. Not really, talaga lang luma yung variants dito sa pinas. Its only mazda who voiced out their strong opinions about keeping the physical buttons. Some brands (e.g. honda) just retain their physical buttons because of their design language.

    3. Subjective, but I do prefer physical knobs and switches.

  2. Physical knobs and buttons work better. Touchscreen is more dangerous to use. Break the screen and you're in deep trouble.

  3. Ayun na nga. Tama nga ako. Kup*l din kasi yung isang tao dati sa tsikot forum na mahilig sa touchscreen.

  4. Bakit tahimik yung mga touchscreen boys ngayon? Last time nakipag away pa sila dito, sabi nila touchscreen is superior daw, android auto etc blah blah (something along those lines)

  5. Parang wala naman, lahat ata gusto physical buttons. Anong meron sa android auto? At hindi naman porke may touchscreen agad wala na physical buttons, basta huwag lang kagulad ng volvo mercedes benz at mga chinese cars na halos screens na lang lahat. Magpapalakas lang ng aircon i touchscreen pa.


Feel free to comment or share your views. Comments that are derogatory and/or spam will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to moderate and/or remove comments.