The race to produce the top vehicle infotainment system is heating up as Apple has been granted 36 new patents to cover the system’s intended interfaces. Features that are covered by the patents include touchscreen technology, screens that correspond with laser pointers and a camera that can detect the position of the driver’s head. Although it seems as if the consumer electronics leader has very ambitious ideas for the infotainment system, technology experts wonder whether the finished product’s real-world functionality will measure up to the hype that precedes it.
Concerns With the Apple Infotainment System
A major concern that has caused some industry experts to have doubts regarding the Apple infotainment system has little to do with Apple’s capabilities and is based on the automakers’ ability to deliver compatible technology in vehicles. Car manufacturers have historically lagged behind the consumer electronics industry in terms of technological advancement. When today’s in-car electronics were first introduced to the market, many consumers were already using superior applications on their smartphones and other handheld, portable electronic devices. As a result, in-car electronics generate more consumer complaints than most other personal electronic devices. Common issues among existing vehicle infotainment systems include buggy software, screen freezes, touchscreen lag, or failure to recognize a compatible mobile phone, MP3 player or voice command.
The automotive industry’s current effort to create a standardized Linux-based operating system in vehicles may effectively close the development gap between automakers and manufactures like Apple. The system would be open source and reusable, which would allow auto manufacturers to share advances more quickly as they become available.
Overall, the success of Apple’s infotainment system will rely heavily on the ability of automobile manufacturers to keep up with their pace by developing compatible technology within the vehicles. The proposed open source standardized system offers what appears to be a very promising solution to one of the largest problems the Apple infotainment system currently faces.
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