Tag - Infotainment
Apple's in-car technology that integrates the iPhone with a built-in infotainment system, CarPlay, has been named as "best individual technology feature in a vehicle" during the North American International Auto Show, held in Detroit. CarPlay won out ahead of Google's Android Auto, Ford's Sync 3, and a variety of competing systems. The technology has -- two years after its debut -- picked up a lot of support recently from slow-moving automakers, and is appearing in many model-year 2016 and 2017 vehicles.
Hyundai has revealed that it will launch its 2017 Elantra with both Apple CarPlay and Google's Android Auto support, along with adding a second USB port to the car in order to facilitate charging other devices while the iPhone or Android device is connected to the infotainment system. The company also said it will announce other models to gain CarPlay and Android Auto support, and hinted that some current model year owners may be able to add the technology to their existing vehicles.
Following an announcement at CES in Las Vegas by aftermarket infotainment system maker Pioneer, rival Kenwood has announced a revamping of its double-DIN multimedia receiver line. The firm revealed 15 new models, 12 of which replace a previous model in its Kenwood or eXcelon model lines. The big change that prompted the whole-line revamp was a processor upgrade, said the company, which improved stability and faster startup, along with a new native user interface, new shortcuts, and new solid-state memory that helps to double data-transfer speeds.
First introduced in mid-2013, Apple's CarPlay interface -- which supplements vehicles' built-in infotainment and navigation systems with a car-safe version of iOS and Siri technology -- is finally to be widely available in most US new car models starting with the 2016 model year, which is rolling out to dealers now. In most cases, compatibility with CarPlay -- and, to a lesser extent, Android Auto -- will be a standard feature in cars with built-in navigation systems, but in some cases will be considered a standalone feature that is added to entertainment upgrade packages.
Porsche has opted to support only Apple's CarPlay infotainment technology in its latest 911 Carrera and Carrera S models, blocking Android Auto support chiefly because Google demands detailed information from the vehicle's onboard diagnostics unit that is then sent to Google, compared to Apple's need only for the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) to tell CarPlay if the car is in motion. The carmaker was reportedly unhappy with Google's need to collect intricate data on the car's performance for no apparent reason.
As promised roughly a year after CarPlay was unveiled, German car maker Volkswagen is now shipping automobiles that include a next-generation infotainment system called MIB-II that includes support for both CarPlay and Android Auto along with its own proprietary suite of Car-Net apps, the latter of which requires a subscription. The company says that all but its entry-level models will feature the new MIB-II system.
CarPlay has been a long time coming to cars consumers can actually buy, but the infotainment and mobile app technology has finally started arriving to consumer showrooms. Though it has been promoted in forthcoming vehicles for well over a year, currently the Ferrari FF is the only vehicle at dealers now with Apple's technology baked in. This month, however, that changes -- as General Motors is now producing the Corvette Z06 and the 2016 Cruz.
BlackBerry's QNX division has brought a modified Maserati Quattroporte to CES, demonstrating the company's vision for safety and infotainment technology. The sedan has been outfitted with a bevy of cameras, LiDAR equipment, ultrasonic sensors, a digital instrument cluster, a gigantic infotainment touchscreen, and additional displays that function as side- and rear-view mirrors.
Ford recently introduced Sync 3, an entirely new infotainment system that serves as a successor to the oft-derided MyFord Touch platform. Electronista stopped by the company's CES booth to try out the revamped interface in person, ahead of its official launch on new models later this year.
Apple has issued a statement criticizing a study conducted by the University of Utah for the American Automobile Association in October that rated Apple's Siri (and other naturalistic voice-command virtual assistants by proxy) as "the most" distracting in-car task compared to just driving, adjusting the car's radio or temperature, or using built-in car navigation or infotainment systems. In its response, Apple points out some serious flaws in the study, including the fact that it deliberately avoided using the driving-specific Siri Eyes Free or CarPlay options.