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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Better Late Than Never: 2018 Mazda 6 Gets Free Tech Upgrade

Mazda is upgrading the infotainment system of the 2018 Mazda 6 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Starting in September, the company will even allow owners who purchased one earlier in the year bring their vehicle into the dealership and have it upgraded, free of charge.

While that’s incredibly kind of them, there’s a catch. You have to own the Touring trim or above. If you bought a lesser Mazda 6, you’ll be out left out in the cold. But the automaker previously said it wouldn’t include the popular phone integration setup until 2019, making this a nice gesture. The 2019 CX-9 is supposed to be the first vehicle to see Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment, though we’ve also heard Mazda talking about future dealer upgrades for all models equipped with Mazda Connect for a small fee in other parts of the world.

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Korea Takes Top Three Spots in Initial Quality Study: J.D. Power

This wouldn’t have happened in the late ’80s, that’s for sure. J.D. Power’s 2018 Initial Quality rankings, amassed from problems reported by owners over the first 90 days of vehicle ownership, shows the area south of the 38th parallel as the Land of Least Annoyance.

The fresh-faced, fledgling Genesis brand took the top spot in this year’s rankings with 68 problems reported per 100 vehicles, followed by Kia in second place (72 problems) and Hyundai in third (74 problems). You might say Hyundai (Motor Group) excelled.

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AAA Study Finds Infotainment Systems Dangerously Distracting

Automobiles are more tech-laden than ever and, according to a recent study, those interactive bells and whistles contribute heavily to distracted driving.

With connected cars ready to shoot off assembly lines and into driveways at an accelerated pace, the danger of someone flicking through their dashboard menus when they should be looking at the road is only going to grow. Many states prohibit phone usage while driving, yet there is no law against setting your radio pre-tunes or customizing your digital dashboard while hurtling down the expressway — not that there necessarily should be.

However, the American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned researchers from the University of Utah to examine the physical and mental demand required to complete various tasks using the infotainment systems in 30 new 2017 vehicles. The conclusion was that the growing cavalcade of buttons, screens, and technology does an incredibly good job at keeping you from minding the road ahead.

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Infotainment Market Will Be Worth Over $40 Billion by 2024: Report

A report by industry analysis firm Hexa Research is positing that the market for automotive infotainment systems will be worth more than $40 billion by 2024.

That’s thanks to rising consumer demand, improved technological capabilities, and improved incomes, according to the report. As it stands, the North American market accounted for a hair over 35 percent of the revenue from the infotainment industry in 2016.

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  • Namesakeone If you want a Thunderbird like your neighbor's 1990s model, this is not the car. This is a Fox-body car, which was produced as a Thunderbird from MY 1980 through 1988 (with styling revisions). The 1989-1997 car, like your neighbor's, was based on the much heavier (but with independent rear suspension) MN-15 chassis.
  • Inside Looking Out I watched only his Youtube channel. Had no idea that there is TV show too. But it is 8 years or more that I cut the cable and do not watch TV except of local Fox News. There is too much politics and brainwashing including ads on TV. But I am subscribed to CNBC Youtube channel.
  • Jeff S Just to think we are now down to basically 3 minivans the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna. I wonder how much longer those will last. Today's minivan has grown in size over the original minivans and isn't so mini anymore considering it is bigger than a lot of short wheel based full size vans from the 70s and 80s. Back in the 70s and 80s everything smaller was mini--mini skirt, mini fridge, mini car, and mini truck. Mini cars were actually subcompact cars and mini trucks were compact trucks. Funny how some words are so prevalent in a specific era and how they go away and are unheard of in the following decades.
  • Jeff S Isn't this the same van Mercury used for the Villager? I believe it was the 1s and 2nd generations of this Quest.
  • VoGhost I don't understand the author's point. Two of the top five selling vehicles globally are Teslas. We have great data on the Model 3 for the past 5 years. What specifically is mysterious about used car values?