Lately, the automotive sector has been revolutionizing information and entertainment services on board thanks to the car infotainment system. A neologism that derives from the union of the terms information and entertainment.

Car infotainment includes all the technological functions found on modern cars that aim to provide useful services and improve the driving experience.

What is the car infotainment system?

Car infotainment is based on a hardware and software system that allows the driver to benefit from various services while driving or on board. It is activated by connecting to the smartphone or using buttons, voice commands or on-board display. Instant activation makes every operation extremely simple without taking your hands off the wheel, for safer driving.

The car infotainment available on the market mainly belongs to 3 groups: Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which are connected via Bluetooth or USB cable and transmit most of the APPs on the phone to the on-board computer. These are managed by voice commands, such as Google Maps, Waze, Google Calendar, WhatsApp, Spotify, etc.
The third group concerns the Infotainment Packs, that is the factory devices installed directly by the manufacturers on their cars. Here the functions are managed directly on the embedded touch screen display.

Main functions available on board

Let’s see through practical examples which are the main functions of the infotainment system, that is the major information and entertainment technology services available for divers and passengers:

  • Touch screen embedded computer
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Android auto or similar, therefore, the ability to connect the smartphone to the car
  • GPS integration
  • Knowing information strictly related to the journey by car, such as weather, traffic, car crash, fastest route
  • Streaming music for example on Spotify or iTunes
  • Voice commands like checking work emails while stuck in traffic, or setting calendar reminders
  • Answering calls via speakerphone
  • Listen to messages and respond vocally, if necessary
  • Search for services such as motorways, restaurants, car parks
  • Complete control of car functions, such as parking sensors and cameras, tire level
  • Driving aid management such as assisted braking and cruise control
  • Check the lighting systems
  • Activate or deactivate the car options, such as a heated seat or air conditioning

The car infotainment system is connected via an internet connection to the engine management control units. In this way it is possible to know at any moment of the journey the state of health of your four wheels, keeping under control the tire pressure, the external temperature, the presence of any ice on the road or the consumption and recharging status of the battery for electric or hybrid cars.

The car infotainment system makes driving safer because it prevents the driver and/or passengers from getting distracted, and also simplifies a large number of operations that become easily accessible thanks to technology.

The future of the car infotainment system

With no doubt, technology automotive is evolving rapidly. The future of car infotainment systems is expected to be highly intuitive and customizable. The small displays on the windshield will be replaced by large infotainment systems and special screens integrated into the car’s dashboard.
In addition, with the application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the automotive sector, we will be able to count on advanced features and virtual assistants such as autonomous driving.

In this video NXP, producer of CPU – CELERITY IMX8X, shows how could be your future driver experience with i.MX 8 and i.MX 8X applications processors. He demonstrates how a solution with this processor can drive three displays at the same time.

The MAS Solution best suited to this application is CPU – CELERITY IMX8X, get in touch now for more info about this product.


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