Google Claims Android Auto Will Become Safer and Smarter After Update

Google has announced plans to update Android Auto to reduce the time drivers are required to look at screens. This includes the obligatory mention of leveraging artificial intelligence. But the phrase has become a blanket term for any advanced computing integrated into other systems, meaning we have to dig a little deeper to understand what AI brings to the table. While Google hasn’t gotten overly specific, it has said it wants to place an emphasis on improving safety.

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Porsche Provides New Features Within Apple CarPlay

While certain other companies (ahem, General Motors, ahem) are busy and inexplicably running away from Apple CarPlay, brands like Porsche are making a concerted effort to further integrate the tool into their vehicles.

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Lobbyists Give Static to Government About AM Radio

Readers may recall a recent news post in which we mentioned Jim Farley took to Twitter and announced that Ford was heeding requests from policy leaders and rural Americans, electing not to yank AM radio from Ford and Lincoln vehicles. Going a step further, he also said any Ford EVs not currently able to pick up Amplitude Modulation stations would be getting a software update to give them the capability.


Despite this common sense development, a cadre of automaker lobbyists made their way to Washington yesterday to bleat at Congress and stomp their feet. Their message was the opposite of Farley’s, saying lawmakers shouldn’t consider requiring OEMs to include AM radio in their vehicles.

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Opinion: People Are Waking up to the Perils of Modern Automotive Features

One of the most infuriating things about this job is watching the media scratch its head about why roadway fatalities keep going up when the answer is as plain as the touchscreens on their dashboards. Modern vehicle interfaces are much more cumbersome than their predecessors and yet we’ve seen years' worth of coverage offering all the insight or a shrug. While there are certainly other reasons crashes have spiked (e.g. drug and alcohol abuse), the alluring tablet located next to your steering wheel has been the elephant in the room nobody was talking about — not with the seriousness that is deserved.

But things could be changing.

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QOTD: Who Has the Worst Infotainment System?

Today's Volkswagen news has me wondering: Does VW have the worst infotainment system? Or is it someone else?

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Volkswagen Finally Admits Its Infotainment Is Terrible

Car reviewers, myself included, have spent the past year or two ripping Volkswagen infotainment systems. Even when the vehicles have otherwise been positively received, the infotainment systems have gotten poor grades.

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Apple Wants All the Screens In Your Car

If you’re like the vast majority of Americans, you have a smartphone in your pocket. And while the original purpose of these mobile devices was ostensibly for talking to other people, the truth is most of us use them for anything but talking to people.

Including interfacing with the system of modern cars. Android and Apple have been refining the abilities of Android Auto and CarPlay, respectively, for the last few years. Now, Cupertino wants to take that relationship further – a lot further.

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Whoops: Some Seattle-Area Mazdas Are Stuck Listening to NPR

There’s a gaggle of Mazda owners in Seattle, Washington, that have reportedly been stuck listening to National Public Radio (NPR) over the last few weeks. The manufacturer has addressed the problem, saying the local affiliate had broadcast images files with no extension causing an issue on some 2014-2017 Mazda vehicles with older HD radio software. This effectively bricked the infotainment system on some vehicles, locking them into listening to NPR and out of literally everything else.

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Don't Need No Stinkin' Badges: Lexus to Drop Logo, Add Billboards

Well, at least on the rear of their vehicles. According to a recent interview with another industry outlet that rhymes with Rotor Blend, the Lexus brand will begin appending chrome-plated L E X U S billboards to the rumps of their vehicles instead of the famed round stylized ‘L’ logo, a badge which will continue to appear on steering wheels and enormous grilles.

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U.S. Regulators 'Crack Down' on Tesla for Letting Customers Play Video Games

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a formal investigation into 580,000 Tesla vehicles sold since 2017 that allowed customers to play video games inside the vehicle. The company has allowed users to play a variety of games while vehicles are in park, some of which allowed drivers to use the steering wheels and pedals as part of the controls, for quite some time. But an over-the-air software update permitted a few of them to be launched while the car was in motion by the passenger in the summer of 2021. Called “Passenger Play,” the service was limited to games that only used touchscreen controls.

It’s since been axed, however, regulators have taken an interest following some manufactured outrage. The NHTSA has faulted the feature as part of the ongoing distracted-driving problem in an attempt to link it to its crusade against Autopilot. The agency has launched a preliminary investigation into 580,000 Tesla Model 3, S, X, and Y vehicles to determine if they’re attention-sucking deathtraps.

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Xperi's DTS AutoStage is the Next Big Thing in Infotainment

Xperi’s DTS AutoStage is the next evolution in multimedia, if you turn on the radio while starting your car like millions of others do worldwide.

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Infotainment Trends Upwards, Along With Distracted Driving?
The automotive infotainment operating system (OS) market is projected to grow by $247.84 million during 2021-2025, progressing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
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Fiat Chrysler Previews Next UConnect

No North American Auto Show in January? No problem, says Fiat Chrysler – “let’s bring some media to our neck of the woods to talk about the Chicago show.”

I can’t yet talk about the other stuff I learned in Auburn Hills last week – while I’m not a huge fan of encouraging OEM marketing plans by agreeing to embargoes, those same embargoes are meant to make sure we play fair with other media, and I’m on board with that – but there was one piece of news that’s no longer under embargo.

UConnect is getting an upgrade. A massive one.

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Report: Audi Wants to Ditch Interior Buttons, Free up More Screen Space

With Cadillac torpedoing any hope we had that the touchscreen trend might come to swift end, we started digging around to see the latest and greatest interior screen experiences automakers are hoping to push onto the market. The worst offenders cropped up in concept vehicles, though most automakers aspire to equip future models with more screen space than you’ll know what do with — see China’s Byton for an example.

As for less speculative specimens, Audi had us covered. The brand’s MMI Touch Response infotainment system sacrifices physical controls for three rather large interactive displays. Limited to higher-end models (A6, A7, A8, and Q8), MMI groups a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, 10.3-inch central console, and a smaller 8.6-inch display for controlling the HVAC system. Apparently, that’s the interior Audi wants to run with for all future vehicles while it works up something new.

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Video: Tesla Model 3 Pulled Over For Having a 'Computer' Attached to the Dash

Saying the Tesla Model 3’s interior is polarizing would be a massive understatement. While some absolutely love the minimalist design and singular, tablet-like interface, others criticize it for being too barren to be considered interesting. The vehicle also saw some blowback over its centrally mounted 15-inch display, which, for several reasons, can serve as a potential distraction to drivers.

In fact, it’s so big that one Washington resident found himself pulled over by a motorcycle cop for having what was presumed to be a computer attached to his dashboard.

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  • Michael Gallagher I agree to a certain extent but I go back to the car SUV transition. People began to buy SUVs because they were supposedly safer because of their larger size when pitted against a regular car. As more SUVs crowded the road that safety advantage began to dwindle as it became more likely to hit an equally sized SUV. Now there is no safety advantage at all.
  • Probert The new EV9 is even bigger - a true monument of a personal transportation device. Not my thing, but credit where credit is due - impressive. The interior is bigger than my house and much nicer with 2 rows of lounge seats and 3rd for the plebes. 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, around 300miles of range, and an e-mpg of 80 (90 for the 2wd). What a world.
  • Ajla "Like showroom" is a lame description but he seems negotiable on the price and at least from what the two pictures show I've dealt with worse. But, I'm not interested in something with the Devil's configuration.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I really like the C-Class, it reminds me of some trips to Russia to visit Dear Friend VladdyPoo.