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This Buick Touchscreen Display Was Decades Ahead Of Its Time
By KYLE ENCINA
When the Buick Riviera came out in 1986, it was regarded as the first-ever production car to come with a touchscreen, something Buick referred to as the “Graphic Control Center.” Although it had a bulky Cathode Ray Tube monitor that only displayed two colors, black and green, the touchscreen was far from outdated and included a whopping 91 functions.
Its luxurious amenities featured a five-band audio equalizer, stereo balancing, and one-touch windshield defrost. Its Climate Control system not only showed both internal and external temperatures, it even included animations, portrayed by a mini digital fan that changed rotation speed depending on the air-conditioning level.
It also handled all the essentials such as vehicle diagnostics, trip computer, and fuel economy, as well as a slew of safety features that utilized graphics reminding drivers to keep their eyes on the road or alerting them if their door wasn't fully closed. Buick focused on touchscreens in 1980, when executives wanted to develop a vehicle with the most cutting-edge technology.
It's evident the Buick Riviera was prepping to be as future-proof as possible, and in some regards, it can probably say it stood the test of time. After all, it had already built the foundation that many auto manufacturers are only starting to implement in recent times and its ingenious infotainment system certainly gave a sneak-peek on what was to come in the distant future.