Fact: Pretty much all new cars are a decent steer. The driving experience delivered by the major brands is now so polished and so homogenous, that many cars, from a Ford Focus to a Volkswagen Golf, offer very similar dynamics. Likewise, the gap between premium and mainstream manufacturers has dwindled to vanishing point. OK, a Mercedes or BMW does drive a little better than a Vauxhall. But today’s motorists are more likely to notice how slickly and seamlessly a smartphone syncs with their latest vehicle, the intuitiveness of the media playback controls and whether the sat nav guides them accurately from A to B. In other words, forget steering feel, it’s that awful word infotainment that really matters. That’s infotainment As the consumer technology and automotive industries continue to converge, buyers are only going to become more demanding. Part of the problem is that six months is an eternity in terms of smartphone development, but it’s a blink of an eye in car development. The result is that dated in-car systems are becoming more and more of a problem. Whether it’s the latest mapping techology, social networking or high speed internet connections, expectations for seamless integration and high performance across all computing devices are on the up. That includes cars. What are your options? All of which begs some crucial questions. For starters, who makes the best in-car infotainment systems today? What are the key trends for the future and is it even realistic for every car manufacturer to produce… [Read full story]
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