Safety and Functionality in Infotainment Systems

In an article for Automotive World, Guidehouse Insights discusses the developments in infotainment systems

As vehicles become more sophisticated and automated, the information and entertainment—or infotainment—systems become increasingly enhanced. Automakers have been putting an emphasis on creating a distinct user experience to differentiate from competitors—especially as electric vehicle motors often sound and feel the same. Infotainment systems play a key role in creating a distinct user experience but come with their considerations.


In an article for Automotive World, Sam Abuelsamid, principal research analyst at Guidehouse Insights, explains that usability and safety have to be a key focus for infotainment systems. While early touch interfaces had their issues, modern touchscreens are substantially larger and easier to tap, with most common functions placed at the top to minimize scrolling. To deliver quality user experience, some automakers rely on smartphone chip manufacturers.


"With the new generation of infotainment, automakers are relying on the connectivity that is now ubiquitous in new vehicles to enable cloud-based voice recognition like Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa voice services," said Abuelsamid. "Many new vehicles now contain an embedded default voice control, Alexa and Google Assistant running simultaneously, allowing the driver to use the system of their choice by uttering the appropriate wake word."


With the increasing number of available features, infotainment has also become a safety factor, since poor systems can be a serious distraction. "It’s not enough to just make something that looks like a phone, it must be far more functional, reliable and secure. We won’t be going back to the era of mechanical radio tuners and presets, but we do need a balance of physical, tactile controls and well laid out virtual and physical inputs that can be used without a second thought," added Abuelsamid. 

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