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Ford to bring back physical radio controls for frustrated touchscreen users

Ford to bring back physical radio controls for frustrated touchscreen users

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Ford is planning to bring back traditional knobs and buttons to interactive dashboards inside its vehicles. The company will go back to basics in an attempt to reduce the complexity of its in-car technology, despite becoming one of the first manufacturers to integrate touchscreens and voice recognition inside its cars, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to Raj Nair, Ford's VP of engineering for global product development, owners have complained that its systems make it difficult to switch radio stations or change the volume. As a result, the company will reintroduce physical controls having spent "a lot of time with customers to find out what exactly are the areas that are bothering them." Ford says it has integrated SYNC and MyFord Touch in 79 percent of vehicles sold in 2013 and claims it has "double the sales mix of infotainment systems sold with Toyota and Honda vehicles."

Systems make it hard to switch stations or change the volume

As sales of vehicles equipped with its infotainment systems increase, Ford is bracing for more criticism. Despite this, the company says that car owners with SYNC and MyFord Touch installed have a higher rate of satisfaction over those that don't — no doubt helped by its support for Spotify, Amazon, and a number of other apps. While Ford hasn't said when its redesigned systems will be rolled out, it has plans to overhaul the technology in existing models as part of a summer 2013 update — before Apple's iOS in the Car comes to new Honda, Mercedes, Nissan, Ferrari, Chevrolet, Kia, Hyundai, and Volvo models next year.