Automotive Infotainment systems are the latest trend today. Traffic woes and worsening road conditions have led to increased time spend by travelers on road. Research indicates that on an average commuters spend 10 hours/week on the read. Also, this is set to grow in the coming years. Here, to make it less stressful automobile manufacturers are providing equipment’s that have infotainment systems. The infotainment system typically contains of a touchscreen setup, music system and connectivity tools.
Touchscreen entertainment systems have been present since many years, but recently it is garnered so much attention. Today infotainment systems are implemented across wide range of luxury to economic cars available in the market. Today, listening to music, and making phone calls without actually using the mobile device. The steering wheels are incorporated with the controlling buttons similar to mobile connections. You can change the song, increase volume, source of media easily. An addition to this is the concept of voice assistant, where all you need to do is say the command and the voice assistant system enables it.
Though similar it is not a replica of the smartphone and researchers indicate that it shouldn’t be so too. The environment of car is slightly different and hence there is need that the information shared is interactive and pleasing to eyes and can be absorbed in less than few seconds. A good infotainment system is largely dependent on the screen size and resolution configurations. Today touchscreens are available in various configuration, the range is such that it effects the overall cost of the car. Consumers often pay extra to get the system equipped as per their choice.
Multi-Purpose Vehicles (MPV’s) and other luxury vehicles have an option of upgrading screen. The screen is either placed on the backside of the front row seats, or on the inside section of the roof. Connecting of media through CD’s, USB drives or through Bluetooth connections. This is used by radio-taxi services across the globe. Watching of video content while travelling through taxis helps travelers to enjoy the journey. The automotive entertainment system also is the navigator for the driver. From giving directions to showing the estimated traffic scenario, these systems help you all over the journey.
When the mobile systems were introduced, there was an increased incidents of accidents. People talking or using of phones while driving had led to few fatal accidents and few not so fatal ones. The automotive infotainment system comes with the facility of hands-free calling and ease of access through touchscreen devices. Thus, ensuring that the safety guidelines are met across all the platforms.
Let’s take a look at some of the latest automotive infotainment car providers
Audi cars are a class in itself and so is the automotive infotainment system AUDI MMI. It is a sharp and well-designed system that has a touchpad and rotary controls. The touchpad can recognize handwriting of driver but what sets the system apart is its virtual cockpit view and is compatible with Apple car and Android Auto software systems.
BMW was one of the first few automakers that launched comprehensive infotainment systems by the name of iDrive. The menu and submenus are navigated with the help of a rotary controller and is easier than repetitive tapping on the touchscreen. Few of the hi-end cars also offer gesture controls.
MyLink has large, easy-to-read icons and text, along with adequate amount of analog controls. This same setup is used by various other brands like General Motors, Buick and GMC. These cars are compatible to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also some of the models especially the ones by GM has a built-in WiFi hotspot that connects up to 7 devices at a given time.
Chrysler’s Uconnect is one of the smartest and favored system in the non-luxury car segment. The top version boosts of an 8.4” touchscreen for the best of user experience. Easy-to read graphics, responsive touchscreen, logical voice controls, are some of the features by Chyrsler Uconnect. Another distinctive feature of Chrysler is its ability to find model-specific features and can integrate rear seat entertainment systems in various cars.
MERCEDES BENZ COMAND
COMMAND (Cockpit Management and Data) by Mercedes is a series of infotainment systems that consist of rotary knob, touchpad, buttons for major functions. The E-Class sedan of Mercedes contains steering-wheel touchpads. This in turn acts as a good option to swiping or tapping system.
Tesla has been in talk since it was announced, first for the unique concept later for the delays and challenges being faced by the company. For Tesla, bigger the better is working in terms of infotainment. The system is a big setup and has 17-inch display touchscreen for all controls. The new and upcoming model 3 of Tesla, has gone a step ahead and implemented the central screen for everything as opposed to the traditional display.
These market leaders are enhancing the user experience by providing high-end automotive infotainment systems to drivers and travelers.