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Infotainment systems mimic smartphones, but they may be... Infotainment systems mimic smartphones, but they may be too distracting for drivers (AOL).
There have been 173 apps developed and embedded in cars in the U.S in the recent past. But according to new research, drivers really only want two.

A study from the automotive market research firm SBD study asked 46 car owners to complete simple tasks on several automaker's infotainment systems. They were successful only 40 percent of the time. The remaining 60 percent of the time they were lost navigating through menus and unused apps.

Andrew Hart, head of advanced research at SBD, told Computer World automakers rushed their infotainment systems to market without considering how consumers would interact with them.

"As an industry, we're striving to develop Swiss Army knives instead of the spoons our customers want," Hart told the publication.

A focus group of drivers at the Telematic Detroit conference agreed.

Six drivers put six infotainment systems to the test, then discussed their impressions. The group overwhelmingly chose to use just navigation and music apps during their experience. For navigation, they favored a Google Search browser, saying it was quicker and more reliable than in-car navigation apps. The second most popular app was Pandora radio, which provided a more interesting mix of music than satellite radio.

These findings are not overly surprising. Prominent publications such as Consumer Reports regularly trash in-car infotainment systems as slow and confusing.


Techsplanations: Infotainment


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  • 13 Comments
      • 7 Months Ago
      I want a high quality CD/radio and GPS system in my car. I use the GPS frequently and the radio/CD all the time.
      petpetdon
      • 7 Months Ago
      CD player/radio is all of an entertainment system a car needs. Want navigation? Buy a GPS unit. When the computer goes on the blink it will cost thousands of dollars to fix or replace it. Turn or pull a knob works just fine.
      T Rock
      • 7 Months Ago
      I'd like to see simpler (and cheaper) cars available without all the unecessary options we are forced to pay for. I have always upgraded the sound system myself, don't need sat nav. or most of the other convenience options. We now have cars that will alert you when you aren't paying attention when driving and can park it for you because most of you are too lazy or busy on your smart? phone to do it yourself. Driving is a priveledge- Learn how to do it right or stay off the roads- You are a danger to me on the road.
      ruderunner1
      • 7 Months Ago
      We have a 2011 truck and don't use half the buttons on the dash. They're just not needed. I like my older stuff with things like window cranks and 2-70 air... Remeber when cigarette lighters were standard? How about vent windows?
      gosoaring10
      • 7 Months Ago
      Not only are these infotainment systems slow and confusing they are downright dangerous when the driver takes his/her eye off the road to fool around with them. They require finding and reading the icon which both require concentration taken away from the task of driving. Not a good idea when your survival requires your full attention.
        alirae78
        • 7 Months Ago
        @gosoaring10
        I could not agree with you more! They are always harping on how dangerous texting and driving is, and I just don't see any difference. We had a rental car a couple of years ago for 2 weeks while our car was being repaired. We never did figure out how to use the radio and we decided that it wasn't worth wrecking the car trying to find out.
      Mikerrr
      • 7 Months Ago
      Know what I want in my car? A RADIO. That's it. I don't want an "infotainment system" at all. I want a freaking radio with a USB port where I can plug in a flash drive. I don't use my phone for entertainment and I certainly don't use my car for entertainment. It's a car - not a home theatre room. I don't want anything else built into the dash. Just the radio. Not even a GPS system. I have a very nice GPS which I can move from car to car or take with me on a bike or hiking or whatever. And, I can update the maps or replace the device without going to the car dealer. ONE THING. A Radio. Period.
      Kenny
      • 7 Months Ago
      all this BS is to jack the price of the car up.............. cut it back and sales will increase
      ben5017
      • 7 Months Ago
      An AM/FM radio is all I need ... why do I need a vehicle that was designed with the NSA's abilty for them to spy on me easier? If infotainment is the future, I will never buy another new car!
      Tistyen
      • 7 Months Ago
      I still don't understand why carmakers think putting everything on a touch screen is such a great idea. I drive a 2010 Cobalt, and if I need to adjust the heat/AC/Defrosters or the radio, all I need to do is reach over and turn a knob or push a button that I can easily find and manipulate by touch without ever taking my eyes from the road. What, exactly, is the difference between taking one's eyes and attention from the road to read or send a text and taking one's eyes and attention off the road to navigate a touchscreen to adjust the defrosters or change a radio station?
      rhans43832
      • 7 Months Ago
      Here's thought...DRIVE your vehicle, don't PLAY with it. You know, PAY ATTENTION.
        Mikerrr
        • 7 Months Ago
        @rhans43832
        Right on! I wish the NTSB/NIHS would ban all this infotainment crap from cars. Along with those damned overly bright headlights and the police flashing lights which blind you.
        T Rock
        • 7 Months Ago
        @rhans43832
        Most people think driving is their right and they don't have to pay attention, they are more important than us because they have important things to do! Why is everyone honking at them? Ignorance should be painful
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