When the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class came out, the interior had something that no other car had before. The media screen was attached to the outside of the dashboard instead of being tucked inside of the dashboard like all other cars. The response was either positive or negative. There was no in between. Since then, Mercedes-Benz has brought a larger external screen to the C-Class. And it looks very good.
Then there was the problem with selling navigation systems on new Volvos. Many people wanted navigation but few wanted to purchase the top-of-the-line trim package just to get it. A base Volvo S60 had a pretty good price but it could jump from $35k to $45k when you added navigation and all the other bells and whistles. It would be nice to have but I always wondered if there was a better way to handle these issues.
Just about everyone has a smartphone with Google maps nowadays. You can buy one for less than $50. So why should someone pay thousands just to have the thing attached to the dashboard. Think about it. Your smartphone can do most everything you require from a car entertainment/navigation system. The only downside is having to attach it to the mount and power source every time you get in or out of the car. Why not make every car able to sync with your smartphone regardless of the brand? Use something like Bluetooth to connect it every time you get into the vehicle. But this time allow the car to access everything on your phone including navigation, iHeart radio, email, web browsing, etc.
The closest I will get to that idea is my newest phone/tablet. When my other phone started developing problems, I purchased an ASUS Padfone X which is an Android smartphone which can be slid into the back of a tablet screen. I’m currently trying to figure out how to attach it to my 1995 Jaguar XJ6’s dashboard without using cardboard and duct tape (redneck–I know). But the idea itself is a good one. The 9″ screen is big enough so that Google Maps navigation is very visible from the driving position. It’s much better than relying on just the 5″ phone screen. I can also remove just the phone when I want to get out of the car and take pictures or do something else. And think about this — I have a fully functioning tablet at my fingertips whenever I need to pull over and respond to an email or text. Very nice. It shouldn’t be long before everyone has something like that in their cars.