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View Poll Results: What specific feature is the reason you are interested in the infotainment system?
Navigation 165 69.33%
Aesthetics 62 26.05%
Entertainment ( Music, Radio, Videos ) 173 72.69%
Safety ( rear-view cameras and voice commands minimize distractions while driving ) 132 55.46%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 238. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 22nd July 2023, 16:46   #1
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How important is the car's infotainment system, and what feature led you to choose it?

With the increasing popularity of infotainment systems in cars, featuring advancements like floating and on-screen displays, and the continuous growth in screen size, it raises the question of whether we truly need such sophisticated systems.

Do car enthusiasts find it indispensable, or is it just as crucial for regular users?

There are several reasons why people opt for infotainment systems, such as the aesthetic appeal, access to songs, and navigation functionalities.

However, many of these tasks can be accomplished with basic set of audio system too, like using Bluetooth connections for music and calls, and relying on navigation through smartphones. Does it genuinely impact your driving experience?

Recently, I checked and found that the price of infotainment systems starts from 10k and goes up to 50k, with a wide range of options in between. What do you believe should be the maximum acceptable price for an infotainment system?
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Old 22nd July 2023, 18:55   #2
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re: How important is the car's infotainment system, and what feature led you to choose it?

Yes, I think it's good to have an infotainment system. Sometimes I don't need directions for a route, but I might still look at the map occasionally. If I don't have a decent infotainment system, I'd only mount the smartphone when I seriously need navigation.

The infotainment unit's navigation views are often more detailed than a smartphone. The Kia infotainment system includes a split screen and a compass widget that provides information such as altitude and coordinates. And I check the altitude to get an idea of the remaining distance when driving over hills. I'd have never thought of checking that from my phone.

Moreover, infotainment system user interfaces are specifically designed for cars, with large text and buttons, while the smartphone screen is small and difficult to control when driving. Another advantage is the accessibility for co-passenger. Overall, I find it very convenient than a smartphone, considering my car use is mostly long highway trips. However, I understand that none of these would make sense if I'm only using the car for regular commutes or city driving.

That said, I'm not a fan of very big screens or playing videos while driving. Also, the lights from the screens alone can be painful during night drives. I think a system with an 8-10 inch screen, a dark user interface, and support for Android Auto/Apple CarPlay would work best. I'm not really sure about the price part, but 15-20k could be acceptable.
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Old 22nd July 2023, 19:33   #3
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re: How important is the car's infotainment system, and what feature led you to choose it?

A query related to the Car's Infotainment System

I drive a 2019 Ford Ecosport which came with the Ford Sync navigation system for which updates are not available anymore.

So, I use the Google Map on my phone for navigation, connect the phone through Bluetooth to the infotainment system and listen to the verbal guidance given by Google Map. The arrangement used to work perfectly.

Recently, when I came to Kolkata and was fondly listening to the FM Radio, I set my navigation on phone as usual, connected it to the ICE system and drove on. I was surprised to find no alerts being called out by the entertainment system though it was connected through Bluetooth and everything else was functioning properly including handsfree phone calls, songs from Spotify etc.

After some mind scratching, it occured to me to check the source for the music system and then I found out that when the source is selected to Bluetooth, Google Map navigation alerts were being heard, but the moment the source was changed to Radio, the alerts could not be heard.

Now came the real problem. Children wanted to listen to FM radio and I wanted to listen to navigation alerts.

Could not find out a way for the same.
Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 22nd July 2023, 20:18   #4
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re: How important is the car's infotainment system, and what feature led you to choose it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by raptor_diwan View Post
However, many of these tasks can be accomplished with basic set of audio system too, like using Bluetooth connections for music and calls, and relying on navigation through smartphones. Does it genuinely impact your driving experience?
My Octavia comes with an in built android auto, but on my old Verna I used to use my smartphone mounted on AC vent or dashboard.

Was once driving at highway speeds when suddenly the smartphone fell off the mount and into the footwell. Somehow managed to stop without any incident and stopped using navigation for the rest of the journey. The very next day splurged 35K on an android system and havent ever used a mount since.
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Old 22nd July 2023, 22:17   #5
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re: How important is the car's infotainment system, and what feature led you to choose it?

Infotainment system's biggest advantage is the use of Google maps and parking camera IMHO. You don't need to look at your phone constantly while driving in an unknown location and you can always have a quick glance while driving. Also staying in places as crowded as mumbai, parking cameras really help you park in tight spots
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Old 22nd July 2023, 22:19   #6
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re: How important is the car's infotainment system, and what feature led you to choose it?

At a time when car companies are racing to outdo each other by slathering more and more tech onto their products, people are getting increasingly fed up with their car infotainment systems. People are warming up to native operating systems, as long as they’re developed by Google and not the automaker. JD Power found that models that have Android Automotive with Google Automotive’s operating system, AAOS, “score higher in the infotainment category than those with no AAOS whatsoever.”

Source: https://www.theverge.com/23801545/ca...urvey-jd-power
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Old 22nd July 2023, 22:52   #7
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re: How important is the car's infotainment system, and what feature led you to choose it?

In three out of my four cars, I still stream music from my phone, connected via a little wire to a cassette sitting inside the radio. On all these three cars I also have separate little nano IPods I can hook up to the cassette/radio as well.

My Spider apart from a radiocassette deck also has a 10 CD disc changer. Same on my Jaguar.

Our recent Fords had this Godawfull sync something from Ford. Ford could not update our maps for over 18 months.

So it is still me with a proper classic radio in the dash, with a cassette deck and iPod and for navigation, trust me, in Europe, nothing beats a TomTom proper GPS device with free updates across its WiFi, when you park in front of your house!

Jeroen

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 24th July 2023 at 18:59. Reason: Typo corrected
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Old 23rd July 2023, 10:05   #8
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re: How important is the car's infotainment system, and what feature led you to choose it?

Would have voted for "ZERO: Not important at all" if there was an option.

Not a music guy, and navigation can be done via phone.
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Old 23rd July 2023, 19:45   #9
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re: How important is the car's infotainment system, and what feature led you to choose it?

A good music system in a car can aid driving - lessen fatigue and increase alertness. One should not be playing videos though. Let us also give importance to hand free conversations on the phone via the cars system.
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Old 24th July 2023, 09:16   #10
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re: How important is the car's infotainment system, and what feature led you to choose it?

With android auto/apple car play becoming popular, none of these things matter. I've been using android auto in my Dzire for 5+ years now, and it has now become a second habit to plug in the phone while entering the car... Like pulling my seat belt. With the wireless versions now becoming popular, that step of plugging in phone will also go away. So for me, it just needs to be a big responsive screen with android auto enabled. I don't need any in-built navigation or soothing sounds (like in the newer Hyundais) when my phone will always handle these better than any ICE system.
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Old 24th July 2023, 10:03   #11
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re: How important is the car's infotainment system, and what feature led you to choose it?

0 importance for me.

My Altis still has its basic OEM audio system. For the maps, my dad who sits beside me at the front, guides me with the phone in his hand. Whoever wants to hear music, hears it on their headphones as per respective preferences. When I'm alone, I use a basic Bluetooth speaker connected to my phone. So most of the times the audio system is unused. I am in search of a mobile phone holder to be attached on the horn pad.

However off late, my dad is pitching for having a good sound system in the car (Android auto, decent speakers etc.)
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Old 24th July 2023, 10:41   #12
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re: How important is the car's infotainment system, and what feature led you to choose it?

For me the most important aspect is navigation. Able to see the map on a large screen with point to point voice commands helps a lot while driving through new places. A phone can also be used for the same but the biggest draw back is small screen and it needs a mount and there are chances of the phone falling off during harsh braking or on rough roads. Also with an onboard screen, the co-passenger can change the destination, etc. Nowadays the latest ICE system also incorporates the vehicle diagnostic tools which is again an added boon.
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Old 24th July 2023, 11:01   #13
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re: How important is the car's infotainment system, and what feature led you to choose it?

Many people mention that navigation in mobile causes discomfort during long rides. I personally feel that's the main point.

Quote:
Was once driving at highway speeds when suddenly the smartphone fell off the mount and into the footwell. Somehow managed to stop without any incident and stopped using navigation for the rest of the journey.
This exactly happened to me a few weeks back while driving on Coimbatore's bumpy roads. My phone fell and landed in between the ABC pedals. I had two options suddenly: either press the brake hard, risking my phone breaking but stopping the car from hitting the person on a two-wheeler in front of me, or let the collision happen and save the phone. I chose to press the brake and stop, and I'm glad that the phone didn't break from that impact. Since then, I have stopped putting the phone in the holder, as I personally feel it's unsafe on bad roads.
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Old 24th July 2023, 11:31   #14
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re: How important is the car's infotainment system, and what feature led you to choose it?

For me navigation, rear view camera and voice guidance matters the most. I don't care much about the music, radio or other stuff as I usually drive with these things off.

I find them distracting.

Even when I am riding my motorbike I use Cardo just for voice navigation and I have become good navigating using just the voice guidance without looking at the screen.

I would rather focus on a car with a good engine, gearbox, chassis, suspension setup and safety features.
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Old 24th July 2023, 11:55   #15
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re: How important is the car's infotainment system, and what feature led you to choose it?

I prefer the 'info' part of the infotainment system. Abilities like android auto, rear parking camera display, and TPMS display would take priority over the sound quality, and the display quality.
I do not carry stored music, and when I listen its via streaming music apps, so on highways when there is no network, I haven't had issues driving in silence. So for me the primary purpose for the system is navigation and other safety aids.
That said, I also find floating screen displays as obstructive as a mobile phone holder, so for me the aesthetics, of the system being integrated inside the dashboard panel is an important factor.
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