Infotainment - a neologistic portmanteau of information and entertainment – is generally described as information-based media content or programming that also includes entertainment content, in an effort to enhance popularity with audiences. When focusing on the Motorsport and Automotive industry, the term refers to the hardware/software products and systems built into, or added to vehicles in order to enhance driver and/or passenger experience*.
Pros and cons of infotainment
Despite its great awareness among people and users, nowadays infotainment is still “read” and approached through a double lens.
On the one side, the usage of infotainment systems in Motorsport and Automotive becomes useful to enrich the driver’s experience while offering innovative services like apps, multimedia readers, real-time content/information digital providers. A related topic concerns connected cars, which have established a new ecosystem powered by the Internet of Things*.
On the other side -above all in the Automotive sector - the main issue is related to the amount of problems faced by drivers while using infotainment systems. To cope with this criticality, some Automotive brands are staffing dealerships with dedicated tech support specialists***:
While investigating whether the current explosion of automotive technology will cause owners of a late-model cars to visit a shop more often, everyone we spoke with agreed that he biggest failure with in-car technology has little to do with vehicle systems and more to do with owners. [...] And with automakers adding infotainment systems that increasingly rely on software rather than hardware – such as music streaming to a smartphone and then to the car via Bluetooth – issues with car owners rather than the car’s components have become more common.
Infotainment in Motorsport: your opinion matters
As shown in the paragraphs above, the introduction of infotainment dynamics to the Motorsport and Automotive industry is still balancing among challenges to meet, future developments to exploit and criticalities to solve.
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* Wikipedia.org, Infotainment ** Jahangir Mohammed, How Connected Cars Have Established A New Ecosystem Powered By IoT, techcrunch.com *** Doug Newcomb, Car Tech Isn’t Failing. Owners and Infotainment Interfaces Are, wired.com