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The Big Three's Different Approaches to Infotainment

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On: Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 10:47AM | By: Elizabeth Puckett


The Big Three's Different Approaches to Infotainment

Technology in cars is moving at a very rapid pace. New predictions have projected that most cars will be connected to the internet and have the ability to communicate with the road and other vehicles in the near future. This technology in cars is possible through the use of the vehicle’s command center, or infotainment system. Reviews show that the ways the Big Three currently handle infotainment varies greatly.

The current standings in the infotainment world goes as follows: General Motors pioneered the technology, Ford wants to offer different features and options, and Chrysler is the underdog in the game that has the potential to take over infotainment. Each auto maker is determined to work out the bugs quicker than their competitors and offer the best infotainment systems in order to outsell the competition.

Infotainment is currently widely used to get directions, operate the radio, and make hands-free calls. These systems are setting some auto makers apart from the others and if any auto maker isn’t on board with infotainment by now, they are severely behind the game. Experts project that around 70 percent of new car buyers want some kind of connectivity in their car—ignoring this need will certainly reflect negatively in sales.

GM developed the first version of infotainment in 1996 with their OnStar system—the grandfather in the technology. In 2007, Ford dominated the category with its original Sync setup. However, Ford has taken a few giant steps backwards with their MyFord Touch system that came with many malfunctions and complaints. Chrysler's Uconnect is silently dominating the market when it comes to customer satisfaction.

So, what’s the way of the future? General Motors recently announced its plans to add 4G broadband through the car to bypass having to sync an internet-connected mobile device to receive emails, texts, and voicemails. This function could act as a Wi-Fi hotspot for internet connectivity.

Ford seeks to improve upon the MyFord Touch and fix the features and work out the bugs complained about. Their plans include putting more traditional knobs and buttons back to their vehicles as well as offering a software update that promises to perfect their technology.

Chrysler’s Uconnect receives the lowest number of complaints from consumers. This system takes the best aspects of other systems and combines them into one well running system. Uconnect offers imbedded cellular technology as well as the ability to sync to a mobile device. The system also offers mechanical buttons as well as touch screen technology. Some models even currently function as a Wi-Fi hotspot.




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