Do you feel like you have heard about MZD connect, Remote Touch and iDrive but don’t know the difference between them? Or do you want to know the difference between Car Play and Android Auto but don’t know where to begin?
In the olden days, having a CD player in the car was a big deal. But now, even the smallest of sedans are carrying a large number of functions such as the capacity to make or answer calls, advise you the best route for travel, tell you about the weather, connect directly to the internet, stream music, help you park and much more.
Therefore to cram all of these features into a small car, companies have developed an all-inclusive multimedia system with fewer knobs and buttons to make the whole system sleek and efficient. Moreover, as the demand for more onboard features has increased, car multimedia systems have taken the Centre stage, providing entertainment and various safety features.
So what exactly makes for an excellent multimedia system? First, let’s discuss the common features found in vehicles today:
When they think of a good car multimedia system, most people think of a sleek panel with little to no gaudy knobs on it. Most people are picturing a touchscreen setup since it has become quite popular among new car buyers.
Because of high demand, touchscreen systems can be found in most cars, from mid-range Hyundai to more expensive high-end vehicles such as Bentley. These systems are quite intuitive and easy to learn; without having to deal with a series of knobs and buttons. Just click on the appropriate icon, and it will get the job done. As people nowadays are pretty used to using their smartphones, a switch to a touchscreen in the vehicle is quite a natural shift.
Along with customers, car manufacturers also prefer touch screen enabled systems as well. They are quite cost-effective and easier to install than the traditional ones. There are fewer components, many features can be installed without being limited by hardware, and can easily be fitted in most cars.
Even though this system can be easily operated, there is a downside. Using a touch screen can be challenging to use while driving. Not only would you have to look away from the road, but hitting the right button can also be difficult. Hence. Leading to frustration which is not the ideal emotion to have while driving.
Contrary to popular belief, there are a whole series of people who are against the touch screen. They still believe while driving, having traditional knobs and button systems is the most efficient. That’s why there are a number of car manufacturers that still opt for traditional control dials for the car’s multimedia system, such as a dial for Connect 3D for Alfa Romeo, MMI dial for Audi, IDrive for BMW, MZD Connect for Mazda, COMAND for Mercedes Benz, and a mouse style controller for Lexus’ Remote Touch.
People who are in favour of these systems advocate that they are easier to use on the move and, after some initial trial and error, can be quite intuitive for the drivers, and they can use it without even looking at them, unlike the touchscreens. And they can be placed even away from the line of sight as you don’t have to look at them often to operate.
However, there is a learning curve, and it takes a little while to get familiarized with them. In addition, using shortcut buttons, entering the address, and searching on the internet can also be quite cumbersome with manual car multimedia systems.
After recognizing this shortcoming, many manufacturers have tried to remedy this by including handwriting recognition touchpads where you can write your query or command. But unlike their counterparts (touchscreen), these manual systems are harder and more expensive to install and require a lot more additional hardware.
A wave of a hand to operate the system
Operating and controlling your devices with hand gestures is no longer a thing of science fiction; now, it’s a reality. Gesture recognition technology was developed for games, and TV controllers are now adapted for cars.
Gesture technology has been recently adopted by top players in the market, such as BMW for their 2017’s 5 and 7 series. And a more straightforward version of this technology was seen in Volkswagen Golf. BMW uses an overhead camera to recognize the gestures, while Volkswagen uses a motion sensor to get the job done.
A con for these systems is that they are not as accurate as they should be to operate in the car. For example, BMW’s gesture control requires you to place your hand on a specific area of the view to get the action done, but if the hand is not entirely in the view of the camera, that action won’t be done.
In its current form, this system is not efficient, but with technology improving with every passing day, there is hope and a market for this feature as well.
Phone pairing systems
One of the most critical in-car integration is the car connecting with our smart devices. Considering we can’t go a minute without using our devices or listening to our carefully curated playlist, phone pairing systems have become quite vital for all cars.
Even with device pairings, right now, we can make calls and listen to music. But car manufacturers are thinking about the next step. They are working along with large tech companies to make the pairing process even more seamless. Now manufacturers want riders to easily link their other apps on the car’s multimedia systems as well. So, they are heavily funding mirroring technology. For example, apple developed CarPlay and Google the Android Auto to allow their users to link their vehicles with various apps from their smartphones.
So what car multimedia system is the best?
Well, there is no correct answer. The choice totally depends on your preference and which system you believe works best for you. Happy choosing!.
Adrians Metal Recyclers top-rated car wrecker in Gold Coast, which offers customers same-day car selling opportunities and pays up to $9,999 in instant cash for cars in QLD. She has over seven years of experience working in the automotive industry, and in her spare time, she likes to write informative blogs.