Tech giants could save auto infotainment systems image

The current generation drivers, who generally don’t lack access to the latest and greatest wireless 4G networks and have the latest smartphone in their pocket have a vexing problem: why automakers can’t integrate the cars into this new ecosystem.

The truth is that carmakers have been hard at work for years doing just that – but the first generations of smart infotainment systems simply couldn’t keep up the pace with the incredible advances made in mobile technology – smartphones and tablets. Today, trying to overcome a slow design cycle that renders obsolete the OEM’s infotainment system almost the minute it appears, the salvation might come from the technology giants.

And we mean Apple and Google mainly – even though carmakers still work with a host of third-party suppliers for both software and hardware implementation. Apple started the car fight – it’s going to be a war that not only secures a new business sector, but could also attract more people to the brand – back in March when it introduced the CarPlay. It’s a system that easily connects to a user’s iPhone, allowing for seamless touch or voice interaction with the phone through the car’s built-in system. Google, owner of the biggest mobile ecosystem – Android – retaliated a few months later with Android Auto – which does the same, but for Android powered smartphones. Without knowing so far how the two would handle cross-interaction – there are still drivers who like Blackberrys or have Windows Phone smartphone – we could see how the car’s infotainment solution could be chosen because the driver has one particular smartphone brand.