Yeah, the one with handwriting recognition seemed pretty silly to me. we need someone to do basically what apple did when they put out the click wheel. Something that is intuitive and simple. I have no idea what that is though. If I did, I'd be doing that for a living!
Voice seems like it could work well. I think people have tried it in the past but it was always not quite functional enough. With google's new stuff and Apples Siri, it seems like it is coming up more and more. I think some vague gestures might be nice too.
So we've got two cars with multi-function displays. A '12 VW Jetta and a '13 Nissan Xterra. I'll be nice and say that the user interfaces (UI) suck. They really need to get some human factors people involved... maybe even avionics interface designers.
The radio interface for the Jetta is this arc of bubbles labeled with numbers (1, 2, 3, ...) for the presets. If a preset is selected, then and only then does it display what channel its set too. The Nissan radio interface is six buttons labeled 1 thru 6, that resides in the upper left corner of the display (lots of unused black space), again with no clue as to whats programmed behind them. The buttons are sized about as big as the tip of my little finger.
The NAV/MAP is cumbersome also. You'd think they'd take some lessons from the stand alone nav devices life Garmin, etc.
There is other functionality, but its hard to learn when driving down the road. Expecting people to sit in their driveway and work through all the button combinations is absurd.
Tactile interfaces like knobs and buttons can be learned and used without looking. In a car, this seems essential. with touch screen interfaces it is literally required that the user focus on the display for every single interaction. That doesn't sound like a good idea to me.