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 |  Jan 08 2014, 4:31 PM

2009 370z

Through GPS navigation systems, automakers have been tracking the whereabouts of their customers, who have no right to demand that the location information be destroyed.

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 |  Jan 11 2013, 11:01 AM

Customers satisfaction regarding navigation systems is declining because they are becoming too confusing and hard to use according to the J.D. Power navigation usage and satisfaction study released today.

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 |  Mar 22 2012, 12:15 PM

Last month, NHTSA issued guidelines to establish criteria for reducing distraction from electronic devices installed by manufacturers while the vehicle is in motion, but those rules come with some surprising stipulations.

One of those strange recommendations said “dynamic, continuously moving maps are not recommended.” In other words, the navigation display that updates in real-time to show where you are, would just be static. NHTSA recommends that static or near-static maps for the purpose of driving directions are acceptable. But in a way, that essentially eliminates the usefulness of having an in-car sat nav. Imagine driving along using your navigation and not having an idea of how close or far away your turn is.

Another odd statement from NHTSA was that drivers cannot comprehend more than 30 characters of text at a quick glance. Therefore, its recommendation is that infotainment systems should display no more than 30 characters of text at any given time. Scrolling text is also unacceptable. To put that into perspective, it’s difficult to squeeze an entire song and artist title into 30 characters on a single screen display.

Now obviously we acknowledge in today’s world there are a lot more distractions in our vehicles that could hinder our ability to drive. But wouldn’t educating drivers more effectively be a smarter way of resolving the issues?

[Source: CNet]

 |  Nov 23 2011, 11:45 AM

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.

 |  Jan 24 2011, 8:17 PM


With all this new technology available to us, much of it thanks to Google, it was only a matter of time before the automotive manufacturers tapped into its potential. Audi may be one of the pioneers in this field integrating an Internet-based navigation system into the new A6 with plans to include it in the new A8, A4 and Q7.

The primary focus of the Internet-based navigation system is to deliver accurate traffic not just on the freeways and highways, but on the local streets as well. The navigation includes technology from Inrix and Google Maps with the latter providing quick searches for point of interests.

Inrix’s XD Traffic service displays traffic flow information for 20-30 feet of covered roads as opposed to mile-to-mile that much of today’s navigation systems do. As a result, the Audi navigation system will use this accurate traffic information to provide up-to-the-minute routes to avoid traffic jams.

Currently in Europe, owners will be able to use a copied-SIM in the navigation in order to get data service while U.S. drivers will be able to use data through a Bluetooth connection from their smartphone.

[Source: Car Tech Blog]

 |  Sep 07 2010, 9:15 PM

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.”

[Source: Cnet]