Best in-vehicle infotainment systems

Best in-vehicle infotainment systems

August 8th 2014 | Benjamin Yong

Gone are the days where the only thing to entertain you on your drive home was an AM/FM radio and, if you were really lucky, a CD player. Automakers are now trying to create an all-inclusive experience by allowing control of your smartphone and other mobile devices via your car, and vice versa. Let’s take a look at some of the best in-vehicle information and entertainment systems available right now.

Audi

The brand with the four rings calls their information and entertainment technology Audi connect, which they describe as "all applications and developments that connect Audi models to the owner, the Internet, the infrastructure and other vehicles." One of the first companies to offer broadband Internet access on-the-go, Audi has expanded their services to include highspeed LTE support and WiFi hotspot connectivity.

Working from the driver's seat is no problem with text-to-speech functionality. Through a synced device, emails can be read aloud, and SMS can be sent using voice commands. To unwind, Audi music stream is able to play songs from a personal music library or over 3,000 Internet radio stations. 

BMW

Lots of brands now offer the ability for your car to interact with your phone, but not that many go the other way around. BMW ConnectedDrive is a series of services and apps that incorporate access to a concierge, real-time traffic information, online entertainment and more. It also includes the Remote App that pairs with your BMW so that you can lock and unlock your car from afar, honk the horn if you lose your car in a crowded parking lot, or turn on the heat or air conditioning so the temperature is just right when you get inside.

Apple CarPlay

Rather than being exclusive to a single marque, Apple’s CarPlay technology will be available through several automobile manufacturers such as Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota and many more. Seamlessly integrating with the OEM infotainment hardware and software, it essentially mimics the operating system of an i-product. For instance, users will instantly recognize Apple’s familiar icons on the vehicle's display screen. You can press them to elicit the expected response, or enable Siri and execute commands with voice activation.

These are just some of the latest technologies currently being offered. For more information on other systems, visit www.openroadautogroup.com/new-cars.

About the Author

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5.

Twitter: @b_yong
Instagram: @popuplights