Cooley On Cars
Why are OEM head units so crappy?Cooley tells us why manufacturer-made head units are not up to par with your average smartphone.
Hey folks, Brian Cooley here. Another one of your emails about high tech cars and modern driving. This one comes in Bill Lyle Kay. It says why are OEM head units so slow, sometimes poorly designed and expensive in a lot of cars (compared to our smart devices), Even though the car costs a lot more. This is one of the Holy Grail questions of in-car technology. Your, let's say, $700, $800 phone whips the pants off your $30,000, $40,000 or $80,000 car when it comes to infotainment The interface for it, and the services that are brought in via it. Why is this? Let's lay out, I think, the four key factors. First of all, these hellish head units that we have in cars from factors are there because they occupy top real estate. Car makers are want to say, yeah, we'll let someone else Sit there persistently in their dashboard display and express themselves instead of us the car maker expressing ourselves. I know that sounds crazy but believe me this is a big issue with car makers. Another one is corporate pride, hey have spent millions in all these cases to perfect And develop, and brand, and name these interfaces in the factory screen. Who's gonna raise their hand in that next big corporate meeting and say, you know what, that was a dumb idea. I don't know who's gonna do that. Then you've got the new era of data relationships. There are many who say the auto industry in the relatively foreseeable future is gonna be about data. And building and selling cars we'll be just a price of admission to get there. Well, you don't want to lose that relationship between interactivity and your driver owner by letting Apple or Google get in there and take over all those interactions, all those request for. Place to go, recommendations. Where can I go find this or shop for that or find a certain kind of gasoline or what's on my calendar next I need to drive to? You see how rich that is? That's valuable stuff. And finally, it just takes time. I mean just a few days ago from our taping of this email segment, we saw that Subaru announced that they now have CarPlay in Android Auto on the Outback. A full model year after they introduced on the Impreza, and it's still not available on any other of the vehicles in their rather significant lineup. So it's gonna be a multi-year rollout for that one car company. This is still an industry that moves on a clock that's measured in years, not days, weeks, or months.