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Digital gauge clusters are more than just a replacement for the analogue dials we’re used to.
Tech Tuesday No. 1: Visiting QNX Headquarters
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Welcome to Tech Tuesday, our new series that explains and exposes the high tech features in today’s new cars. For our inaugural post, we’re not just looking at what technology is in cars today; instead we’re looking ahead to the future of in-car infotainment systems.
Try almost any modern infotainment system. Most feel like they’re a decade behind today’s gadgets in terms of touch-screen responsiveness and resolution. So why don’t cars offer us technology on par with smartphones and tablets? Continue Reading…
Anyone who argues that automobiles are lagging behind when it comes to technology will be blown away by these two cars from QNX, which are on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The latest 2013 reliability study from Consumer Reports (CR) revealed once again that many folks are unhappy with their in-car infotainment systems, and the issue may be even bigger than the study suggests.
Among all the new tablets and smartphones at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Vegas are a few cars, and Ford knows that it needs apps to grab the attention of younger, ‘connected’ car-buyers.
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.
Tech giant Intel has decided to move into the car infotainment market, teaming up with Denso, which recently developed the Entune system in various new Toyota models.
Intel, known for its microprocessors used in most of today’s computers, has created a $100 million investment fund towards the development of new hardware and software for the automotive infotainment market. Initially, the tech giant will focus on developing speech recognition, gesture recognition, and eye tracking.
Along with Entune, Denso has also developed NaviBridge and Arpeggio, infotainment technologies that work alongside today’s smartphones.
A match made in heaven? Perhaps. Both Intel and Denso are well-respected in the tech industry, but other competitors are more established and already have relationships with automakers. Still, we doubt the two heavyweights will have difficulty building those relationships.
The decision to develop this tech is one of the first projects funded by the investment fund, which was announced last month. The fund exists to promote technological innovation in the automotive industry because of the rapidly-growing role computers are playing in new cars.
[Source: Automotive News]
Are you frustrated with your car’s nav system? Join the club – a new study out by J.D. Power and Associates Reports says that drivers are annoyed with their navigation systems.
Consumers are reporting that they are becoming increasingly frustrated with their in-car navigation and infotainment systems. The problem seems to be complexity of these systems, and drivers think that the systems available aren’t easy to use. Topping the list of complaints is the “Address/street/city not found”, followed by “Difficulty inputting destination,” “Route provided was not direct” and “Difficulty using voice recognition controls.” And instead of making these systems easier to use, manufacturers are adding even more features, such as climate controls.
“Routing the primary function of a navigation system is obviously an issue and will continue to be,” said Andy Bernhard, director at J.D. Power and Associates. “However, for nearly 10 years, the importance of ease of use has been emphasized by owners, and the continued high level of problems in this area begs the question: is the industry listening to how owners want to interact with their system?”
J.D. Power and Associates also ranked the top systems based on consumer satisfaction, and leading the way is the Garmin system that comes with the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, as well as the Hyundai Mobis that’s found in the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. At the bottom of the list is the Alpine Electronics unit found in a few Mercedes-Benz models, TeleNav in the Lincoln MKX and DENSO in the Toyota RAV4.
If you have GPS or an infotainment system in your vehicle, do you find it too complicated to use? Let us know in the comments section below.
Hands-free voice activated technology has made life so much easier. Now, wouldn’t it be great if they could bring that same level of technology to your car? You’re in luck – it’s coming… but you’re going to have to wait another year for it.
Speech-recognition company Nuance has reported that an auto manufacturer is in the process of integrating advanced voice command technology into its vehicles and it will be ready by next year (there’s no word which automaker this is, but Mercedes-Benz is expected to launch an iPhone-based infotainment system next year). You’ll be able to tell your car that you want to want to make reservations for that trendy Asian fusion restaurant everyone has been talking about, and you car will make it happen.
If you’ve ever used Siri’s services or GM’s IntelliLink infotainment system, then you’ve already experienced Nuance’s speech recognition capabilities. Right now, most OEM systems only recognize 50 or 60 short voice commands (with the exception of Ford’s Sync system, which recognizes 10,000 voice commands). But it takes a lot more than 10,000 voice commands to be truly intuitive, and that’s were most of the work needs to take place. Think about how helpful Siri is – to get that same kind of response in your car, automakers have to put some serious research and development to bring drivers a similar experience.
And even though Nuance is on board, automakers still have to grapple with the increased probability that this type of system will still cause all kinds of distracted driving hazards. As well, this new system will need to offer directions and navigation without relying solely on mobile networks for data connections.
Do you even notice that the music that you’re listening to affects how you drive? Now, MINI has taken infotainment systems to the next level with the MINI Connected system – a cool feature that adjusts the music based on your driving style.
Just one part of the MINI infotainment systems (there’s radio MINI Visual Boost and MINI Navigation too), the MINI Connected plays music that have been exclusively composed for MINI and then adjusts the rhythm depending on how you’re driving. All of these functions are integrated via an app for the iPhone and can be operated using the car’s joystick, steering wheel buttons and on-board monitor.
Another cool feature included in the package is the iPod Out. This lets the MINI Connected system display the iPod navigation menu in the vehicle’s main center speedo display, and control the music playback features in the iPhone, the iPod touch and the latest generation iPod nano, using the vehicle’s controls.
Also added to the MINI Connected system is a web radio function lets drivers listen to local radio stations independent of their location, and the “Minimalism Analyzer” provides advice on how to drive more efficiently. The app can be programmed to read RSS news feeds, supply Google local searches and send information from your browser to the Cooper’s display. And no infotainment system would be complete without Facebook and Twitter integration.
No word on when this system will be available, but you can check out all of the details in the press release after the jump.