Touch-free car controls split world’s drivers

Germans love the latest wave of touch-free car controls, which respond to the flick of a wrist or the swipe of a hand, as it means no messy fingerprints on their spotless dashboards. Italians, known for an extravagant hand gesture or two, are not so sure.

A simplistic stereotype, but it captures the split among the world’s drivers over the newest in-car tech on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

Germany’s BMW demonstrated a 7 Series car that recognises five simple gestures, from a finger twirl to the right to raise the music volume and a hand swipe to decline an incoming call.

Japan’s Pioneer had a minty scent shoot out of a dashboard to revive a driver after a car seat sensor detected a falling heart rate, a possible prelude to nodding off.