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German luxury carmaker BMW has decided to ship some of its models without a touchscreen for the infotainment system as it deals with the current chip shortage.
BMW confirmed the news to automotive website Edmunds releasing a statement, "This measure is a result of the industry-wide supply chain issues which are affecting automotive manufacturing worldwide and causing limitations on the availability of some features or options."
However, the removal of the touchscreen does come with a rebate. Cars produced without the touchscreen display will feature the '6UY' code on their Monroney labels (window sticker) in the United States and customers buying these vehicles will get a $500 credit towards their cars.
Owners of the 6UY coded cars, despite the lack of the touchscreen, will also be able to access connected car tech like Android Auto and Apple Car Play. Owners can access these connected car systems and others with either voice commands or BMW's trusty i-Drive system. Yup, you'll either have to use your voice and shout at your BMW car instead of nudging it or you can use that old school system of nudging a dial or clicking buttons to get the work done once again.
Thoughts On BMW's Decision To Skip Touchscreens
The automotive industry has been on the wrong end of the stick for a few years now thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and the now extremely irritating chip shortage. While the pandemic did shut down work for a while, it would seem that the chip crisis is what could really disable vehicle production as there does not seem to be a proper fix to deal with the lack of microchips.
10 years ago this would not have been a problem, but now with every car, including the smallest of hatchbacks to the biggest of SUVs sporting the tech, getting the world to go back to interfaces that made sense before will be a tough challenge for any carmaker let alone luxury carmakers like BMW.
There is still hope as the voice activation systems on the new BMWs are still around. But talking to your car is a sure-shot way of confusing the cops looking out for idiots on their phones.
Training oneself away from the infotainment screen on a car has been a hard task due to the fact that the infernal things seem to get larger and more immersive every time we see a new one. Hopefully, some BMW owners will soon be able to get back to driving as dealing with carmaker's i-Drive system will hopefully put them off the damn display it controls.
However, there is one other thing to consider. If you're going to buy a BMW, especially the ones without a touchscreen, and your car costs the same as a house or large apartment, is that teeny tiny rebate really going to offset the fact that you have to work harder to get a 'feature' working properly on your 'luxury' vehicle, a car or SUV that is supposed to keep you relaxed.