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Opinion: Automakers - Stop The Infotainment Arms Race

SomewhatRandom (1299167) writes | about 9 months ago


SomewhatRandom (1299167) writes "Dailytech has recently published an article "Detroit Automakers Vie For App Devs Amid Infotainment Arms Race". In my opinion, auto manufacturers are in a poor position to complete with companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc... and they should give up the arms race and take a different direction.

Mobile operating systems and their associated hardware have a rapid release cycle that significantly outpaces vehicle infotainment systems. Additionally, mobile OSs are developed by specialized companies that can spend dump trucks filled with money on their platform. I'm sorry Dodge, Toyota, Honda and all your friends, you simply can't compete.

The in-house infotainment systems being brought to market by the automotive industry typically try to replicate a limited subset of features provided by a mobile operating system (ex: Android, iOS), while impelenting a clunky interface that feels like a blast from the past. Replicating features that already exist in a consumer's device with a clunky interface does not offer any value to the end consumer.

Stop throwing money at developing a "doomed to fail" in-house infotainment solution, and start catering to the consumer by developing a system that allows the consumer's mobile device of choice to control in-vehicle assets (speakers, in-dash touchscreen, noise-cancelling microphone) directly.

Consumers would prefer to see a standards-based system that allows the interface of their existing mobile OS of choice duplicated or extended on an in-dash touchscreen, while having audio redirected from their device to the vehicle's speakers. Start focusing on technologies like Miracast and Bluetooth and how they can be used to augment a customer's mobile device, rather than replace it. Manufacturers that choose to adopt this focus not only provide better value to the end consumer, but also be able to reduce the size of their development budgets. Win-Win.

What are your thoughts? Am I crazy, or does it seem like the automotive industry has lost sight of what will best serve the consumer?"

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