Buying a New Car? Consider These Entertainment and Connectivity Trends

Although my car is only a couple of years old, I look at newer models with envy because of the cool technology in their dashboards. This tech is becoming more and more important to new car buyers. Jacobs Media goes a deeper into the situation.

The last decade has been an important one for the auto industry. And we’re not just talking about the recession that nearly put General Motors and Chrysler out of business.

Consider that just ten years ago, it would have been illogical to see automakers at an event like CES. After all, what did cars have to do with the consumer electronics industry, the realm of brands like Microsoft, Intel, and Samsung?

But as technology began to transform the dashboard, the landscape of media and entertainment in cars changed with it. Ford’s SYNC platform was the early pioneer in the space, preceded by GM’s On-Star, which back in the day was an emergency services tool.  You contacted On-Star when you were locked out of your car. You punched up SYNC when you paired your phone or started using embedded apps on your touchscreen.

The Ford SYNC system in the early years was rugged, eventually paving the way for smoother, more intuitive driver experiences. SYNC’s voice command system was crude, often frustrating consumers. At the NAB Radio Show a few years back, Strategy Analytics’ Roger Lanctot played a video of a first-time SYNC user struggling to perform a simple voice command task: tuning in a radio station. As someone who bought a Ford with one of the early SYNC systems, I could relate.

If a new car is in your future, you really should keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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