Find the best operating system for a car it starts to look like the quest for the holy grail. Software has become an essential differentiator and is causing manufacturers to invest billions of euros in it. But the software moves so fast and the hardware so slow in automotive that it can be a real problem.
In fact, there are voices that have positioned themselves against the path that the sector is taking. From Bugatti they defend, for example, that filling everything with screens can be counterproductive over the years. “Nobody wants an iPhone 3,” said Achim Anscheidt, design director of the luxury car firm.
Manufacturers also have to fight against external attacks, such as Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. The problem for the traditional manufacturer is that both Google like Apple do a better job than them, offering an alternative operating system to the one that the vehicles come with as standard. In fact, in some articles we have already reflected why Apple is raising so much reluctance among some brands, who are willing to prevent the evolution of their Apple CarPlay from working in their vehicles.
But neither Apple nor Google are perfect and the latest Android Auto update proves it.
The last update Android Auto has brought a long-awaited novelty: Coolwalk. Now the information is distributed on the vehicle’s screen, splitting it in two to control the map and multimedia playback at the same time. A decision that has been liked in general terms but that is not the most intuitive if you expect to use the vehicle map in full screen.
But it has also shown that software updates can be quite a problem in an environment as diverse as cars, with screens of different sizes, touch environments and others that are not. In addition, a car should easily exceed a decade of useful life, so manufacturers and other companies that offer operating system services (read Google and Apple) should be forced to offer specific support for vehicles that have been around for many years. in the market. This was one of the problems they were targeting from Bugatti.
“What is going to happen to all those devices when operating systems not working someday? What will happen in 10 years, even? Are you still interested in the iPhone 3?” Achim Anscheidt wondered. And the answer came well before a decade. Android Auto has broken the system for some users who don’t have touch screens in their cars: there are drivers who don’t The controls of their cars work.
The user who writes claims to have a 2014 BMW 5 Series, but in the same thread we can read responses from other drivers with similar problems. Some forum members suggest that Coolwalk could be the source of the problem, but the owner of this BMW assures that this is not the first time that this has occurred. Some of the most affected models are those of Mazda, vehicles that lack touch panels by the company’s own philosophy.
From 9to5google.com they point out that the problem seems to be due to the Google Maps application, which seems to be the origin of the bug problem. In fact, they suggest that going back and reinstalling version 11.28.7 of the Google application is the most effective solution to the problem.
Beyond the glaring flaws in the infotainment system, it is worth asking if we are doing the right thing dumping all the vehicle’s systems on the screens. Updates with small errors to correct in operating systems or video games, among others, have been common for a long time, but in a car, which until now only required starting its engine, an error in an update can be quite a problem. We will also see how long the manufacturers continue to support and update the operating systems of vehicles with many years behind them.