Infotainment after thought - Fishermans Bend

Does anyone know why so many infotainment systems in cars look like a last minute add on to a design? They just look like they've been hastily stuck on.

Infotainment after thought - RobJP

I have to agree.

Here's a bit of an extreme example of where a new car seems to have gone downhill with a 'new' generation of vehicle.

The BMW 5 series. The last version (2011 to 2016, called the F10) had a lovely integrated screen - it just sat there, in the dash, clean lines. If you had the 'piano black' trim, it just melded in, smooth as silk.

The new 'G30' generation, however, looks like someone has gaffer-taped an ipad to the top of the dash above the air vents.

I can understand the reasoning - the new car has 'gesture control' - which is a dreadful gimmick, and you find yourself using the iDrive controller within a few minutes, because it's less distracting. Therefore the screen and the sensors need to sit proud of the dash.

But it looks like an afterthought. A real dog of a design.

Infotainment after thought - Engineer Andy

I especially hate systems that get rid of the vol control/tune/setting change buttons/wheel knobs for touch screen only controls like on a mobile phone, which are FAR more distracting and therefore dangerous if the driver is the only person in the car. And besides, using them leaves finger marks which don't look nice.

I think many makes just crudely copy the 'flavour of the month' from other manufacturers and thus give little thought to the ergonomics of said design as it applies generally or to their vehicles in particular. To me, very few car manufacturers get the balance right between styling/features and ergonomics/usability - the Japanese generally concentrating on the latter and the Euro makes on the former.

Infotainment after thought - Bilboman

Absolutely true. When we look at basic controls such as indicators, lights, horn, flasher and wipers, every manufacturer has adopted a pretty standard set-up by now and a blindfolded driver could find all these controls inside an unfamiliar car in seconds. Apart from the main light switch (rotary dial for some, stalk twist for others) there are no truly wacky designs these days. It was a sad day in motoring history when Citroën ditched the crazy but strangely functional modules on the CX and "monopod" on the Visa and GSA: a world away from the truly awful efforts of the Subaru XT or the first Seat Ibiza.


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