Connected Cars: Infotainment Today

Image Source: [Pixabay]
Written by: Matthew Thompson
 
 
Last time in this series, we discussed some connected car benefits to consumers and communities as a whole, as they relate to city infrastructure. Now we’ll go over more personalized benefits in infotainment available to consumers.
 
Infotainment has become one of the most important selling points for drivers. Several auto manufacturers that produce connected cars have built their own infotainment systems. Some manufacturers, however, have turned to companies such as Apple and Google to keep their cars connected to online and satellite media.
 
Your customers probably have some idea of what infotainment features they want from connected cars. But they don’t necessarily know what systems offer the features that mean the most to them. Learning more about the latest infotainment options and consumption trends in connected cars will help you point each person toward the right vehicle.

 

 

MyFord Touch

 
 

Ford makes two infotainment systems: SYNC and SYNC with MyFord Touch. SYNC just barely qualifies as a truly connected infotainment system, though, because it doesn’t have a touch screen and it offers limited features.
 
Sync with MyFord Touch comes with a lot of media features that drivers love. It has Wi-Fi capability with a hotspot, which means passengers can use their mobile devices to connect to the internet without burning through their mobile data. It can also respond to voice commands.
 
Ford’s infotainment system has Bluetooth compatibility that lets drivers stream media from their mobile devices to the vehicle’s speakers. It can also play content from Sirius Satellite Radio, HD Radio, an SD card slot and USB inputs for MP3 players.
 
Sync with MyFord Touch can also give drivers directions and traffic updates. It gets this info from Sirius Travel Link, which requires a subscription. Sirius Travel Link can also tell drivers fuel prices, movie listings, sports scores, weather forecasts and even stock prices.
 
 
HondaLink

 

Honda’s infotainment system goes by the name HondaLink. On the surface, it has many of the features that your buyers think they want. A closer look at the system’s reviews, however, shows that you may want to steer tech-focused drivers to other options.
 
Key issues with HondaLink include its slow response and lack of controls. The only physical control is a rotary volume knob. Ideally, drivers can operate their infotainment systems without taking their eyes off the road. Most companies meet this need by putting controls on the steering wheel or using voice commands. Unfortunately, Honda didn’t make easy controls a priority.
 
HondaLink also lacks the Wi-Fi and 4G LTE connections that sophisticated shoppers want. A lot of people love Honda vehicles, but the company hasn’t kept up very well with this type of tech.

 

  
Toyota Entune

 

Toyota makes three versions of its Entune system: Entune Audio, Entune Audio Plus, and Entune Premium Audio With Navigation and App Suite.
 
All versions have useful features such as Bluetooth streaming, voice recognition and Siri Eyes Free, which lets drivers talk to their iPhones without looking away from the road. Moving up to Entune Audio Plus gives drivers SiriusXM Satellite Radio, HD Radio, GPS, and HD Radio Traffic and Weather.
 
The premium system includes an app suite that lets drivers add their favorite apps. Drivers often install apps such as Pandora, Yelp!, Slacker Radio and iHeartRadio. These apps make Toyota cars feel more connected than the basic Entune Audio system because it makes your car’s dash behave like a desktop computer.
 
With so many companies making their own infotainment systems, you’ll have to become familiar with several options to help your customers find the one that meets their needs best. Concentrate on connected systems that offer the most useful features, including convenient controls, voice command recognition, internet connectivity and apps that people want to use behind the wheel.
 
At Small World Social, we keep an eye on the latest developments. Keep checking back to learn more about the present and future of connected cars. Next time in this series on connected cars, we’ll go over the future of infotainment and the trends headed our way.

 

   
Connect with us to learn more about how connected cars will shift the role of manufacturers, dealers, and the auto industry. Leave a comment below or reach out at info@smallworldsocial.com.

 

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