Jaguar Design Boss Doesn’t Want Giant iPad-Like Screens In His Cars

During a presentation for the facelifted Jaguar XE at a newly remodeled dealership in Manhattan, Jaguar director of design Ian Callum stated that he’s not a fan of big 12-inch iPad-like screens when it comes to cars.

“Not if I can help it,” he said when asked if the British automaker is going to install such a display onboard their models any time soon. In fact, he didn’t have anything nice to say about giant touchscreen displays, the kind Tesla pioneered with the Model S.

“If you’re driving 80-90 miles an hour – and you can in some countries, legally – you don’t want to be flipping around an iPad looking to move your door mirrors or your seat controls,” said the 20-year JLR veteran designer. “You need to be able to feel your way through the car without looking at it for more than a millisecond.”

He then pointed to the Jaguar XE’s dual-screen setup, which provides the driver with the most important information at the top, and minor things like climate control functions, below. It also features tactile controls, which according to Callum give drivers a sense “that they are part of something mechanical,” reports Autonews Europe.

While we can definitely understand his point of view, such a stance against giant touchscreen displays has to be temporary, given the fact that at one point in the not-too-distant future, cars won’t require drivers to maintain their eyes on the road all the time, which means designers will be able to focus on making car interiors a great deal more interactive.

For now though, this is a debate worth having, so which way are you leaning when it comes to in-car screen size?

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  • Rocket

    It’s not the screen size that’s the problem, it’s the functionality. Or rather, lack of it. JLR’s two screen system isn’t much better. Two smaller touchscreens offer little to no advantages over one large one. Tactile or not, it still requires a level of coordination and accuracy that’s difficult to achieve at speed. Touchscreens should be reserved for Apple Carplay/Android Auto interface, and for secondary functions not typically accessed while driving. All primary HVAC and audio controls should have dedicated switchgear. Function over form always when behind the wheel.

  • Ron

    Thank God because neither do I! I love my Jag and would hate to see them go to the me-too iPad dash.

  • salamOOn

    one ipad 13 or two ipads mini… its doesnt matter. its always only a screen without any “no look usability”.
    if he would be really serious about safety and “your way through the car without looking at it for more than a millisecond” he would ditch the touchscreens.

    • designer_dick

      Why stop there? Why not ditch the dials too? Don’t they distract the driver?!

      Honestly, I’ve never seen such a reductive, old-fashioned argument. A touchscreen placed at the same height and same approximate depth as the dials offers minimal disruption, as you don’t have to move your head far to see it, and soon becomes ‘no look’ to use. Conversely, a touchscreen mounted as low in the dash as the XE’s HVAC controls is about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

      • Sébastien

        Imagine adjusting your speed/braking/steering with a touchscreen… Still not convinced?

        • Mike anonymous

          It does not ‘have‘ to be a ‘touchscreen but rather simply a display controlled with a dial with would allow for less distraction, as a ‘touch’ screen would require you to interact with it, likely requiring you (based on the softwares implementation) to remove your eyes from the road.

          Screens in general (typically those that are ‘touch-free’) may not be the problem, but a screen that requires you to interact with it (as opposed to simply viewing it) could cause for most distraction. You hands, even more so than you eyes, (both important) should be focused on the road ahead of you and controlling the vehicle itself. They should not be focused on touching a screen and going through software menus while driving.

          Even the vehicles drivetrain itself could come into play with the level of distraction. If drivers are distracted enough while driving an automatic imagine the amount of added distraction that could be caused driving a manual vehicle (as manuals require more driver engagement).

          A Simple display could be better for usability, customization, and driver/passenger safety.

          • Sébastien

            Regarding the gearbox it’s actually the opposite, automatic (just like driver aids) gives a dangerous sense of “i can do something else while driving” much less likely to happen with manual cars.
            That’s why real self driving can’t arrive soon enough, as the intermediate steps are dangerous.

      • AintYerPa

        My issue isn’t with safety, it’s with the potential of newer tech to remove the driver from the experience of driving… Ultimately, its just personal preference… If you know how to drive properly, you shouldn’t need all the extra tech.

        I could go on, ad nauseam, about how the inevitable trend toward self driving cars is dangerous (not for our safety, but for our souls), but I sense that most would just roll their eyes.

        Really, I just love to drive. I don’t want a computer to do it for me…

    • TheBelltower

      Primary controls for driving should be tactile switches and levers, but I have no issue with touchscreens housing non-vital functions. I’ve never been going 70mph through a chicane and thought “boy, I really would like to turn on my seat heater.” From a style perspective, I prefer as few switches as possible. The interior in a 1st generation Panamera was a sea of switches and blanks. Drove me nuts.

  • performante

    Old man yells at cloud


    kudos for bringing back the stick shifter

  • I was walking behind a guy last year and recognized him.. “Hey, are you Ian Callum!?”.. yup. We spoke for a while. I had no idea until he spoke/replied he was Scottish. (kind of hits one in the face). He’ll change his tune; just need to be creative. The future has no dashboard for ‘cars’… I just hope the future includes swivel bucket seats which I mention to every designer be they Callum (The “other brother” Callum) [Two Callum brothers are both design heads] , Gilles, etc. I tell them either bring back swivel buckets, or true, flat-bottomed FRONT bench seats. Work in some neat tech way to have swivel BENCH seats, and that’d be GOLD! 🙂

  • Nordschleife

    I love design and a big screen gives limited options for incorporating it into a dash that doesn’t mirror every other dash so I agree with him.

  • Enter Ranting

    Touch screens are an inexpensive design cop-out that are used to control the overabundance of nonsense settings and gimmicks cooked up by the marketing team.


    Jag died the day they refused to put the CX75 into production.
    Bye Jaguar, it was fun, but now you need to go.

    • Matt

      That money was far better served bringing new models like the F-Pace into production. You know, models that sell and pay the bills.

    • Ron

      Seriously? If a car company died because it didn’t build a concept car, there would be no car companies left.

  • Bash

    But he wants a nasty ugly last generation gear shifter!

    • Matt

      That’s what the people wanted, not the rotary-style shifter that preceded it.

      • Bash

        It’s a shame.

  • Ray Filetti

    Mr Callum is 100% correct. Almost all dashboard designs are awful. NO instruments or controls should be located below the centre of the steering wheel on the dashboard. Far too many cars, if not most, have instruments and controls way low down in the centre console.

    • lagunas3ca

      Whatever you say, Ray, with the blurry avatar.

  • SteersUright

    Though he might be right about functionality, theres no excuse for how behind the competition the interior of Jaguars look as of late.

  • S3XY

    Laguar is a prehistoric brand that knows nothing about software. I just drove the I-Pace and it sucked. The touchscreen was absolutely terrible compared to a Tesla. Tesla software is on its own level of how a car operates flawlessly using a touchscreen.

    This is a new era and Laguar is showing its age by saying it doesn’t want giant screens. They have no clue how to execute it.

    Model 3 is how a car should be. Rids of the unnecessary knobs, dials and buttons and toaster oven air vents these oil dependent car makers have been putting in their cars the last century. Good riddance.

  • S3XY

    Who adjusts their side mirrors or seat position when driving 90 MPH? Lol!

    And you can adjust those manually in a Model S.

    I can’t tell if the Jaguar design boss is dumb or stupid. Probably both based on that comment.

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