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Automakers may talk a big game about preventing distracted driving and improving safety, but at the same time they continue to provide distracting infotainment systems.
A new platform for in-car entertainment is ready to hit the market, based on the latest software from Research in Motion (RIM) subsidiary, QNX.
Automakers aren’t only developing alternative energy and engine technology to stay current. New vehicles also need to come with the latest in smart infotainment and mobile connectivity technology.
According to studies conducted in eight key global regions by Juniper Research, an estimated 92 million vehicles with internet connectivity will be on the road by 2016. As smartphone integration and cloud technology expands into more devices, vehicles will depend on such electronic platforms as well.
“Integrating the smartphone into consumer cars represents a new route for the mobile internet and infotainment to enter the vehicle,” report author Anthony Cox said.
Early adopters in the industry include the Ford Sync AppLink, GM IntelliLink, BMW ConnectedDrive, and the Entune from Toyota. Eventually, these advanced infotainment systems will trickle across the industry, becoming as common as basic radios are today.
Commercial fleets and insurance telematics platforms that provide emergency response systems may benefit from mobile technology the most despite being in the infancy stages of adoption. Juniper Research predicts that new connected platforms that manage driver efficiency and cost reduction will be released as soon as 2014. Regulations in the field such as the European Union’s E-Call will boost telematic adoption in vehicles as well.
Are you in the market for a new entertainment or infotainment system for your car? A recent study by J.D. Power and Associates shows that Japanese suppliers of information and entertainment systems score highest in quality.
It seems as though everyone has a satellite radio or navigation devices installed in their vehicle. And there are numbers to prove it: about 66 percent of cars have satellite radio (up from 59 percent in 2009). Factory-installed navigation systems are found in 30 percent of vehicles (up from 25 percent).
J.D. Power’s 2010 U.S. Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study sheds some light on the growing popularity of infotainment technology into the U.S. market.
The survey broke down the infotainment technologies into multiple categories. In the AM/FM/Multi-CD Changer/Satellite Radio sector, the top three positions for quality were held by Japanese brands. Securing the top spot was Fujitsu Ten, coming in the best score with only 2.1 problems per 100 vehicles. They were followed by Pioneer with 2.6 problems and Clarion with 3.4.
In the field of car navigation, Japanese supplier Denso took three of the top four slots. When combined with Panasonic’s audio system, Denso’s navigation software had the fewest problems per 100 vehicles at 6.4, and when partnered with Delphi, Denso also came in second with 8.7 problems. Taking the number four stop, Denso teamed Fujitsu Ten with 10.5 complaints, behind a Delphi system that had 9.4 problems.
“It is not surprising to see Japanese brands doing well in the United States,” says Ashvin Chotai, managing director of Intelligence Automotive Asia in London. “Japanese companies are much stronger in all areas of consumer electronics and have been responsible for many of the groundbreaking developments which have then been feeding into cars.”