Technology and Options
Posted on January 14, 2013
New car models can incorporate an incredibly amount of new technology, including integrated controls, in-car navigation systems, information and entertainment (so called “infotainment”) systems and various safety systems (blind sport monitoring, lane-departure control, etc.). In many cases, these technologies are bundled into options packages, sometimes coupled with sound system upgrades, costing thousands of dollars. Are these technology options appropriate for you? On the plus side, many of these new safety technologies can represent a worthwhile improvement in passive safety, especially in a world where drivers are increasing distracted by cell-phone conversations, texting and other distractions. Also, a well-integrated infotainment system, incorporating general vehicle controls, a navigation system, music/video player, internet, voice commands and other features can make for a pleasant driving environment that facilitates multitasking. However, as with non-car-based electronic consumer products, the execution of these technology implementations can vary greatly and the user experience can range from positive to dismal and frustrating. Several major manufacturers have had well-publicized problems with their in-car technology implementations. Also, certain in-car technologies will date rather quickly, and will be of limited usefulness as the years of ownership go on. Finally, as with all new technology, these systems can raise reliability concerns. Car Match keeps abreast of each manufacturer’s technology implementations and will advise you in your report as to which models have beneficial implementations and where there are technologies to avoid.