Monday, October 24, 2011
Why don't Europeans care for Infotainment?
Following on from last week's post about touch screens, Autoblog recently posted an article asking why Europeans don't care about infotainment in their cars. The author seemed genuinely bemused why, when he went to IFA (the European equivalent of the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas), it took actual effort to find any auto manufacturers showing anything in the entertainment market. If you've been to CES you'll know there's an entire hall dedicated to the pursuit of distracted driving where all the manufacturers proudly tout their latest methods to keep you from concentrating on actually driving. But at IFA - nothing. Well - not nothing, but very very little. So why is this, the author of the article asked. I can give you a couple of ideas, but predominantly it's because we Europeans tend to understand that when you get into a car and drive, you need to concentrate on the actual driving of the two ton weapon. I think we have far more interest in the act of driving. Americans, by contrast, seem to be expressing more and more desire to have self-driving cars, wrapped in airbags and lawyers to prevent them from having any personal responsibility for the actual act of driving. As a result we've got iDrive and SYNC and all the other wonderful infotainment systems that are impossible to use on the move because of the fiddly on-screen controls, and the fact that you need to look at the screen to use them. ie. you're not looking at the road. ie. you're not concentrating on driving. Here's the original article. I was as bemused as the original author, but I was bemused at how he couldn't grasp the basic concept that infotainment does not belong in a car: AutoBlog