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Screen Test: Five Frustrating Infotainment In-Car Interfaces Page 2

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CUE interface, in 2013 Cadillac XTS

CUE interface, in 2013 Cadillac XTS

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There is finally some relief on the horizon. In next-generation systems, hardware will make a major leap (that retina display, in a vehicle, isn't all that far away), and capacitive screens will be common. Some next-generation systems will also be able to recognize when a passenger makes selections, and allow them to program a new destination or change system settings—a common complaint.

Have it your way in the future

But perhaps most importantly, systems in the not-so-distant future will recognize that not everyone will feel at home with a particular interface. “One user might have a preference for touch screens, others for voice, some for rotary,” said Boyadjis. “Automakers know that they need to create a system that has redundancies.”

According to Boyadjis, there are concepts in the works that will let the driver customize an interface, or more simply, fill out a questionnaire, with the system then going to an interface that's customized for that kind of customer. Some voice-control systems already have it, he notes. Gesture-recognizing systems are on the way, too—as soon as automakers can agree on what each gesture means, and manage some other issues, like how some gestures won't carry well across cultural barriers.

After much debate, the High Gear Media editorial team singled out a few interfaces that either perform sluggishly or are stubbornly particular about the way people must interface with them. Although some of the newer screen-based systems like GM's CUE aren't short of issues either, we agree with the analysts we've spoken to and agree that more interface options is a good way to avoid frustration.

All-in-one vehicle interfaces are here to stay, and they're getting better; but follow on to see five systems that could drive you bonkers. And be sure to tell us about your own experiences: What works and what doesn't?

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Comments (3)
  1. Having experience several versions of the Comand system, I find it somewhat archaic today. Currently, I have a '12 Audi Q5 with MMI plus and it works pretty well. The voice control doesn't always understand and the windows and sunroof need to be closed. The most frustrating is the radio which permits "presets" or favorites but requires you to select "Presets" every time you start the car a new. One feature no often mentioned is the in dash screen between the speedo and tach which provides duplicate info from the main screen and button on the steering wheel which permit telephone, media selection and use without use of the main control knob. It also provides nav info. And the "optional" Bluetooth works great.

  2. As an owner of a 2008 Audi A6, I have to disagree with your assessment of MMI. Using the knob and button controlled interface is much easier than stretching for a screen interface. After about a week of use, I got the hang of it and can easily use it while paying attention to the road. The voice control and Bluetooth also work very well for cell operation.

    Plus, you don't have to be constantly wiping off greasy fingermarks as with the CUE display. I've tried Caddy's system and applaud their effort, but there's no workaround for this messy byproduct.

  3. Just had the Ford dealer install the latest My Ford touch into my wife's 2013 Escape. For a starter I went to download it onto a thumb drive as the letter of instruction advised me to. Couldn't download it onto a Mac Book as it required a java program first. Couldn't install Java as they and Mac are not friends. So went to the dealer and they performed the download and installation. All that was left was for me to reset the radio stations and the rear camera. This I shouldn't have had to do.Now I understand why people don't like My Ford Touch.

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