The car company has equipped the crossover, Audi Q8, with its latest infotainment system. Fingerprints, dust and all, are love. The two grimy screens are part of the story. In the center stack of the Q8, these two screens are placed.
The radio, mapping system and vehicle settings are controlled by the top one feature. Climate controls and additional controls like garage door opener and the vehicle’s cameras are controlled by the bottom one. Both have haptic feedback, so the buttons feel nearly real. These two screens are tilted at the right angle. To provide a handy spot to rest your wrist, steadying it as you hit the screens, the shifter is built in such a way.
Touchscreens over physical buttons are preferred by the car companies. As screens are less expensive and scalable across vehicles, it makes sense on some level. Car companies do not need to design and manufacture knobs, buttons and sliders with screens but instead create a software user interface. In 2012, with the debut of the Model S, Tesla took it to the next level. A massive touchscreen was stuck in the center stack by the car company. Hence, it is very huge. The large screen can prove to be uncomfortable and impractical to use while driving. A combination of a touchscreen with physical knobs and buttons, instead of a single touchscreen, are being used by the many car makers.
In its latest infotainment system, Audi is using a similar thought. The bottom screen always displays the climate control, so it is always on. When the top screen is turned off, the driver can still change the radio to a preset as there is a button that reveals shortcuts, too, in the bottom one. The top screen has different buttons for the radio, mapping and lesser-used settings.
A dark theme is used for the user interface. This color scheme makes it easy to use during the day or night, as the black levels are fantastic, even in direct sunlight. Some downsides are also present in both touchscreens but none that are not present on other touchscreens. These screens are fingerprint magnets and Glare is often an issue.
Apple CarPlay remains a source of frustration. The latest CarPlay option in Audi Q8, allows an iPhone to run CarPlay wirelessly. It only works sometimes. When it does work, sometimes, various apps like Spotify do not work in their typical fashion. Thankfully, Apple just announced a big update for CarPlay. Hopefully, it will improve the connectivity and stability.
The infotainment system is a critical component, now. A system must be build by the Automakers that’s competent and feels natural to the driver. And also able to evolve as features are added to vehicles through over-the-air updates. A system that works today and continues to work years from now, must be build by Automakers. The latest infotainment system of Audi Q8 is impressive. It’s not a distraction and also it’s easy to use and features fantastic haptic feedback.