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Old 06-01-2020, 10:46 AM   #1177
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Originally Posted by Yoshoobaroo View Post
As a general rule I hate them too, but sometimes it's done well IMO:

BMW i3

Looks quite silly.

Why is there just a big empty space with nothing. Not even some styling, just flat open space.
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:54 AM   #1178
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Why is there just a big empty space with nothing. Not even some styling, just flat open space.
Thanks to Tesla, that IS what passes for styling now.
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:09 AM   #1179
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Originally Posted by AnalogMan View Post
The obsession with touchscreens isn't just in cars. Even the crew Dragon space capsule has mostly touch screen controls:

https://www.space.com/spacex-crew-dr...-thoughts.html



For the life of me, I can't understand why touch screens would be used as the primary if not almost exclusive interface for a spacecraft (secondary, sure, but primary?). Yeah, I know they look cool and all 'science fictiony' and 'futuristic' (just like in the movies). But real-world spacecraft have been known to wobble and shake at times. Like, during crucial times such as lift-off, landing, and when something is going wrong (Apollo 13 anyone?). It's not always a smooth ride like in the movies. It's hard enough in a car to use a touch screen while in motion, with both your hand and the screen shaking to a blur while trying to hit a small spot on the screen. What happens when things go pear-shaped in a space capsule and the astronauts have to likewise use a touch screen?

Or, what happens when a touch screen fails? With a mechanical switch, there's the possibility of a work-around, a MacGyver type fix. In the Apollo 11 lunar module, a circuit breaker that controlled the ascent engine to lift off the surface was accidentally broken. The astronauts were able to fix it using the cap from a pen:

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/50-y...ry?id=64228723

Without that, there would have been no way for them to ignite the ascent engine and lift off from the moon. What happens when a touch screen completely fails? I don't care how reliable they're supposed to be, or how much more reliable than a mechanical switch they allegedly are. Things happen. Things go wrong, usually in the worst possible way and at the worst possible time. It's nice to have back-ups that can be jury-rigged, especially when your life literally depends on it (again, see Apollo 13).

I understand there are some hard buttons for a few features on the Dragon, such as manually releasing parachutes during descent. Smart move. But what if you need something for which there isn't a back-up hard switch?

Yes, I know you can pack more features into a touch screen, and have multiple nested menus, and yes, it's much cheaper than hard controls. But shouldn't utility and safety be of paramount importance when you're sending people 150 miles into the vacuum of space?

We're all victims of our own past experiences. Even though I switched to all Apple products several years ago, I'm still traumatized from my DOS decades, and all the way too many blue screens of death for which the only fix was a new computer. I'd hate to experience that while in space.

Somehow, I wouldn't be surprised if the Dragon's touch screens are the same ones used in Tesla cars. I know Musk is big on branding, but really?

For me, it's an absolute deal-breaker if the only way to access the radio or HVAC system is through a touch screen. You can't use a touch screen with gloves on (which we often drive with here in New England, having something called winter), and I don't want to have to take my eyes off the road while traveling at 100 feet/sec to try and hit some little spot on a screen to change the radio or heat setting.

Plus the iPad on a dash look is just vomit-inducing ugly.
Lol your username seems to be quite accurate...

Not to get too off-topic, but I'll take a shot at the spacecraft part:
Standard practice is to identify every system function that is safety critical and they likely made some manual control for anything they identified that an astronaut could do something about. The dragon capsule (and probably starliner too, haven't dived into too many details) basically flies and operates itself, so pretty much all the controls you are looking at are "secondary". The astronauts are basically there to manage the spacecraft, as opposed to flying it.

As for the benefits of touchscreens, they are actually relatively cheap, less prone to vibrational/use failure (solid state), and enable the controls to be completely reconfigured. This last bit means redundancy. ANY single touch screen can have ALL the controls routed to it. One goes out, go to the next one. If you pack 3 touchscreens, you are actually triple redundant, which is hard to do with hardware swithces. Plus, you can easily update/reconfigure the entirety of the controls using software, which is generally more expedient and user friendly.

If you want to talk more space stuff, might I suggest:
https://www.ft86club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140605
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:23 AM   #1180
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As for the benefits of touchscreens, they are actually relatively cheap, less prone to vibrational/use failure (solid state), and enable the controls to be completely reconfigured. This last bit means redundancy. ANY single touch screen can have ALL the controls routed to it. One goes out, go to the next one. If you pack 3 touchscreens, you are actually triple redundant, which is hard to do with hardware swithces. Plus, you can easily update/reconfigure the entirety of the controls using software, which is generally more expedient and user friendly.
That was pretty much what I was going to say, good summary. I will add, that it would be very possible to make these easily replaceable while in space and to carry a spare or two onboard, although not sure they would do that given every gram is precious.

This is very common in aviation applications now, replacing an instrument panel full of dials and switches with a couple of large touchscreens. That does add it's own complexity though, since there is no standardization on how the systems work. 15 years ago, a pilot could get in just about any general aviation plane, be instantly familiar with the cockpit and move on.

These days, if the glass cockpit isn't the one you're used to, there is much more of a learning curve.
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:28 AM   #1181
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LOL! Thanks! Yes indeed, my username is very indicative of my personality and preferences (ironically, I worked in cutting-edge biotechnology my entire career, and happily embrace 'new' and 'technology' - when there's actually a useful purpose for it, and not just for the sake of being 'new').

I appreciate all of your comments and perspectives. But...

"... basically flies and operates itself..."

Everything works until it doesn't. A lot of things are great when everything is working perfectly, but sometimes not so much in a worst case scenario. Even though 1960's technology was primitive by today's standards, much was nonetheless 'automated' (to the extent possible) in the Apollo program. I hate to think about the outcome of an Apollo 13 type accident in a Dragon, especially if it happened 180,000 miles out and not low Earth orbit.

'Modern' cars are certainly much more reliable than 'old' ones. But I still miss carrying a basic toolset in the trunk, and being able to fix on the side of the road a lot of things that might break in the 1960's cars I used to drive (back when they were daily drivers, before they became 6-figure 'collector's items').
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:32 AM   #1182
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Originally Posted by Dadhawk View Post
That was pretty much what I was going to say, good summary. I will add, that it would be very possible to make these easily replaceable while in space and to carry a spare or two onboard, although not sure they would do that given every gram is precious.

This is very common in aviation applications now, replacing an instrument panel full of dials and switches with a couple of large touchscreens. That does add it's own complexity though, since there is no standardization on how the systems work. 15 years ago, a pilot could get in just about any general aviation plane, be instantly familiar with the cockpit and move on.

These days, if the glass cockpit isn't the one you're used to, there is much more of a learning curve.


I don't know about General Aviation, but the military glass cockpits that I have seen have a myriad of buttons as well as screen navigation through their control sticks as well.
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Old 06-01-2020, 12:27 PM   #1183
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Somehow, I wouldn't be surprised if the Dragon's touch screens are the same ones used in Tesla cars. I know Musk is big on branding, but really?
Slow morning at work, so I'll take this even further astray...

I can practically guarantee these are not the same display units, since I would be horrified if it were even the same display technology...

The displays used in cars are LCDs, which literally stands for Liquid Crystal Display, and they do not function well in harsh environments (e.g. temperature extremes). It can get mighty cold in space...

My bet is on OLED - but I am a total armchair "rocket scientist"
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Old 06-01-2020, 04:56 PM   #1184
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Slow morning at work, so I'll take this even further astray...

I can practically guarantee these are not the same display units, since I would be horrified if it were even the same display technology...

The displays used in cars are LCDs, which literally stands for Liquid Crystal Display, and they do not function well in harsh environments (e.g. temperature extremes). It can get mighty cold in space...

My bet is on OLED - but I am a total armchair "rocket scientist"
LOL, sorry about that! I should have noted my comment as 'sarcasm'! I would hope there are enough bona fide rocket scientists at SpaceX who would make sure a car touchscreen display would never even be remotely considered for a space capsule!
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Old 06-02-2020, 03:09 PM   #1185
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2021 Crosstrek has not been delayed...

https://www.subaru.com/2021-crosstre...H-H8MwX99dovoE
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Old 06-02-2020, 03:24 PM   #1186
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2021 Crosstrek has not been delayed...
Think this will come back to bite them if they release the MK2 BRZ/86 and it doesn't have at least 50 extra horsepower?
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Old 06-02-2020, 03:39 PM   #1187
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Most powerful crosstrek ever. That means it could have as little as a 1HP bump. /s

But really nobody is promising 50hp here. Were likely looking at 30hp bump to ~18X hp considering its probably the 2.5.
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Old 06-02-2020, 04:01 PM   #1188
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2021 Crosstrek has not been delayed...

https://www.subaru.com/2021-crosstre...H-H8MwX99dovoE
Is their second best seller. They aren't going to hold that back.
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Old 06-02-2020, 04:09 PM   #1189
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But really nobody is promising 50hp here. Were likely looking at 30hp bump to ~18X hp considering its probably the 2.5.
I used 50 because I don't think you'll really notice it much under that. Go big or go home.
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Old 06-02-2020, 05:05 PM   #1190
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Think this will come back to bite them if they release the MK2 BRZ/86 and it doesn't have at least 50 extra horsepower?
That's not a very high bar...
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