The 1986 Buick Riviera prepared the world for touchscreen infotainment, the world just wasn’t ready

The 1986 Buick Riviera prepared the world for touchscreen infotainment, the world just wasn’t ready

No, your passengers will no longer go back if you start pressing the screen in the middle of your dashboard and the changes will be revealed. Thank the tablet for that, which is common in the Belgian living room. However, go back to 1986. You probably still played the last European countdown on a cassette player and the WWF wrestling circus is celebrating its heyday.

Life was easy, because the internet didn’t exist yet, and Knight Rider reruns were fun. You got technological entertainment from the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). 8bits power and can bring pixels alive.

Basically, nonsense, because let 1986 also be the year that American Buick comes out with its seventh-generation Riviera. Its sophistication was long lost in the 1960s, but the front-wheel drive Riviera was caught up in its technological prowess. The guys from Buick used the Riviera to share the Image Control Center with the rest of the world. Automotive touchscreen avant la lettre, so to speak.

No aspect ratio was mentioned, because the thing was an old TV with a picture tube mounted on a corpulent dashboard. With a 3 by 4 inch display, you should also consider the dimensions of an average smartphone.

Still, it was a marvel of technology that feels little different from a modern infotainment screen outside of the visual inefficiency. This way you can operate the air conditioner and the radio, but also get information about the technical condition of your brakes, car and electronics. Again, in 1986, at the touch of a button! Why was the system only in production for two years and failed miserably?

The public was not ready.

Because if it was cheered by every journalist and customer who tapped the screen with their greasy fingers, those same people thought the system had one death; took the direction of driving. Are producers still aware of this in 2016?