Rivervale’s Favourite Infotainment Systems in 2018
In today's modern society, drivers expect even the most affordable cars to have some sort of infotainment technology. I mean, it’s 21st century, so you can’t blame them — especially with all the advancements in technology.
Automakers have risen to the occasion and there are now a ton of new infotainment systems available in the market today. Here are our favourite car infotainments systems in 2018.
Porsche PCM (Porsche Communication Management)
The new Porsche Cayenne, for example, features a 12.3-inch widescreen display in the centre of the dashboard. PCM’s new, cutting edge technology allows customers to operate the system without even touching the display — and that’s because there are integrated proximity sensors embedded in the bezels: if the system senses a hand coming towards it, a column shows up on the left-hand side of the display with additional sub-items in the menu.
What’s really interesting about the PCM, is that it’s really customisable. Customers can create an interface to their liking, such as favourite radio stations, navigation destination, favourite phone numbers or activation of the sports activation exhaust system. Much like a mobile phone device, PCM supports swiping and pinch-to-zoom features so that the driver can view his/her screen better. More importantly, the menu system is very easy and intuitive to operate and navigate through. The display can also recognise handwriting, and navigation destinations can also be written on the screen.
The Cayenne — including other models like the Panamera — gets these key features;
Porsche Advanced Cockpit;
Reconfigurable digital instrument cluster with two 7-inch screens flanking a central analogue tachometer; and
BMW iDrive System
The BMW iDrive systems is one of the best infotainment systems available in the market today. In terms of usability, the iDrive system offers customers a range of different options when it comes to input methods;
the traditional click wheel remains the best and easiest method;
a touch sensitive writing pad;
voice activation, which is effective and understands natural phrases;
a collection of physical buttons;
fast keys; and
Fast keys can be programmed with functions that you used in everyday-driving, such as calling home, taking you to your desired destination or saving your favourite music playlist/radio stations. This is important because it causes minimal distraction for the driver and allows you to fully focus on what’s happening on the road ahead. It makes the most of online applications like weather reports, local fuel prices, and social media apps like Facebook and Twitter — something millennial drivers will surely love.
Get this- the iDrive System also offers a years subscription to music streaming applications such as Spotify (Bonus), and can even diagnose any issues with your vehicle when stationary. There is also a Concierge Service, which allows drivers to speak to a 24-hour call centre and even schedule reservations at your favourite restaurant, for example.
In addition, it is also responsive and loads very fast, so you won’t have to wait very long to play your favourite song or online application.
Audi MMI and Virtual Cockpit
Audi’s MMI — short for ‘multimedia interface’ — has been one of the industry’s leading infotainment systems, providing an abundance of functionality whilst still being relatively easy to use and operate. Starting with the navigation display, you get a ton of features that will help you get to your desired destination. First of all, you can zoom in and out as far as you want using the physical buttons positioned on the steering wheel, as well as many other different navigation features. The Cockpit Display in front of the driver is very handy for when you're driving through congested cities. In recent years, the handwriting recognition and simplified buttons around its main click wheel were the best features, but since it’s been revamped the Audi Cockpit Display has now overtaken it as the Audi’s best infotainment feature.
As for the touchpad, it's almost like a laptop as you can use it like a mouse. It is located just below the infotainment system and is extremely easy to use and very intuitive. Each Audi model has a section called “Vehicle Settings” and that is where users will find information pertaining to their car. Each model is different, but in this section you will find a range of specific features like ‘Audi Side Assist’, ‘Head Up Display’, and ‘Parking Aid’, etc.
With some of the phone functions, you can immediately start handwriting a contacts name onto the touchpad, which does a good job of recognising the letters you write. You can also set favourite contacts or use ‘Directory’ to select contacts manually, all of which will automatically be synced from your mobile phone device. Audi MMI allows customers to connect to multiple online applications such as weather forecasts, fuel prices, parking information, online news, events, travel information, flight information, and traffic light information.
Jaguar Land Rover Touch Pro Duo
Jaguar/Land Rover’s latest infotainment system called “InControl Touch Pro Duo” was first introduced in the Range Rover Velar. Now it is available in the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, as well as the new I-Pace electric SUV. The Touch Pro Duo system has really impressive looking duo screens — one that sits in the center of the dash, and the other sits just below. In the Velar, for example, they both have two different functionalities — the upper screens controls the media, navigation and phone; whereas the lower screen controls the vehicle systems, including climate control and the off-road-oriented Terrain Response System. Yes, it is difficult to keep the screens free from fingertip smudging, but apart from that the system works really well and is really modern.
The touchscreens are responsive — customers cans easily drag, swipe, pinch and zoom as if they were on their mobile devices. Functionality is nice and balanced across the two screens. There is also a good balance between click wheels and conventional switches. You can alternate the position of the upper screen to your liking whilst driving. The lifestyle imagery, high-definition graphics and displays adds even more quality to an already impressive infotainment system.
In terms of connectivity, both bluetooth and WiFi are easy to access and to set up. There are plenty of ways to connect devices, including two USB ports, HDMI and HDMI Micro SIM.
Mercedes-Benz COMMAND System
The Mercedes-Benz Command System is one of the best infotainment systems in the market for Satellite Navigation. The 2018 Command System allows customers to access maps, provides directions, searches for destinations, and much more. The Mercedes-Benz Command system offers customers a range of different options when it comes to input methods, such as the click wheel, touchpad, touch control buttons, or voice commands. It allows you to search for destinations and save them as destinations.
The live maps feature gives you all the updates on road traffic information and advises you on the fastest route, so that you can arrive at your destination at the quickest possible time. In order to engage voice control, you have to manually press the button on the steering wheel. Voice control works particularly well on the Mercedes-Benz Command System, meaning not only is it easier to plan and navigate routes, but driver distraction is no longer an issue.
Are we missing any infotainment systems? If so, which systems are we missing? Leave a comment below.
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