Dashboard temperature controls
February 22, 2005 8:28 PM   Subscribe

Last summer I drove a rented Camry for my job and I was impressed with the simple and functional temperature controls on the dash: Three knobs (for temperature, fan speed, and circulation area) with a button in the center of each [illustration]. Do any other cars have similar temperature controls?
posted by stopgap to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total)
 
My Mazda 6 has three knobs with the same functions, no buttons in the middle. Are those functional buttons?
posted by mikeh at 8:33 PM on February 22, 2005


Yes, the buttons, from left to right in the picture, are interior/exterior air source, air conditioning, and rear defroster.
posted by stopgap at 8:35 PM on February 22, 2005


Now I'm comment-spamming my own thread, but each button also has a light for when it's toggled on.
posted by stopgap at 8:36 PM on February 22, 2005


This is just a design improvement on the basic Toyota environmental controls, the key part being that the "knob button" functions are usually three separate buttons. Or maybe that's the key point you're asking about?
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 8:50 PM on February 22, 2005


That's a pretty nifty use of the knobs. I'd always thought that the int/ext air source switch was a huge waste of UI space.

What year was this Camry? 2004? I haven't seen this on any other vehicles.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 8:59 PM on February 22, 2005


This is the best ventilation control I've ever seen, it's somewhat similar, but never makes you make mutually-exclusive choices about where to put the air. On the other hand, there is wasted space, since the AC/recirc. controls are elsewhere. Oh, and sorry for the bizarre link, it's from an ebay auction.
posted by wzcx at 9:39 PM on February 22, 2005


The Acura RSX has the same type of controls, plus it's climate controlled, so you don't need to worry about adjusting all the time.
posted by SpecialK at 9:47 PM on February 22, 2005


Oh, Photograph.
posted by SpecialK at 9:49 PM on February 22, 2005


I appreciate a good UI, but I don't understand what you find so impressive about the Camry controls.
posted by pmurray63 at 11:06 PM on February 22, 2005


Perhaps he owned an old chrysler van before this?

OFF -- HEAT -- VENT (iirc... I'd had to look)

Not only did the controls make it tough -> impossible to actually figure out what they are doing, but there are hidden ones as well (like the passenger side foot-vent with hood-release-knob style opener). Uggh...
posted by shepd at 2:11 AM on February 23, 2005


My Mustang has similar controls, no buttons but the three knobs are the same.
posted by bratcat at 5:18 AM on February 23, 2005


Is it just that the buttons are *on* the dials that you find so delightful? My car has the dials, which helpfully have big sticky outy handles that make them really easy to turn when you're driving on the highway at 120 on them, instead of buttons to press. I just see myself accidentally turning on the air conditioning nine times a day with that interface.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:14 AM on February 23, 2005


My vehicle, a 1997 Honda CR-V, has a similar set of controls, although the three buttons (Recirc, A/C compressor, and rear defrost) are set into a bezel to the right of the knobs. It's a good interface, but the upstairs neighbors' Saab 9-something has an even better one: a rocker switch to set the desired temperature in degrees Fahrenheit and pretty much nothing else.

I don't think the buttons on the knobs are especially clever, really -- it seems as though they would be far too easy to push unintentionally when trying to turn the knob. Adding an additional dimension of control to a dial is typically a pretty bad thing to do.
posted by majick at 7:28 AM on February 23, 2005


our Volvo 850 T5 has auto climate -- a control for driver and another control for passenger. A/c and recirc are separate switches, and there's a third knob to override auto-control to direct the air to screen, floor or vents.
posted by anadem at 9:32 AM on February 23, 2005


I had an '86 Nissan Stanza with even better controls -- the buttons that let you select where the air came out didn't force you to choose their combinations of vents. There was one for the defrost, one for the feet, one for the dash vents, et cetera. So there were three "controls": the fan speed, the temperature, and the button cluster to choose where you routed the air. (The button cluster also had the A/C compressor and recirc switches.)
posted by Vidiot at 9:52 AM on February 23, 2005


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