Euro NCAP: Physical Buttons in Cars required for 5-star safety rating

Hallelujah. Bring back those physical buttons

We’ve already gone at length about cars and physical buttons but it bears repeating. BRING. BACK. THE. BUTTONS.

Thankfully, the good folks at Euro NCAP (the vehicle safety organisation) has come to their senses and are requiring automakers to reintroduce physical buttons in cars to earn five-star ratings.

The new requirement will be implemented starting January 2026 which gives time for automakers to adjust, but we only have one thing to say to these automakers: What were you thinking?

In the new instructions the Euro NCAP will require key functions like turn signals, hazard lights, wipers, horn, and SOS features to be activated by physical controls to reduce distractions and promote safer driving.

While Euro NCAP testing is voluntary, many automakers rely on its ratings for promotion. Tesla, known for its touchscreen-centric interiors, may be most affected.

Volkswagen to their credit, already listened to its consumers and are reintroducing physical buttons.

Matthew Avery, the director of strategic development at Euro NCAP, said this about the new ruling:

“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.”

Look, it’s all fine and dandy to position yourself as “cutting-edge”, but automakers need to implement these systems with some wisdom.

Even something as small as trying to close your sunroof during the rain can be distracting enough for people to cause an accident.

If people made cars for people, instead of trying to impress shareholders, we wouldn’t be here in the first place.

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