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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
They roast the Big 3, especially for the technology that doesn't work(sound familiar?). Has anyone here seen the new Vizio ad?

It is pushing technology, but makes the same point that I've been making: technology should make things simpler, not more complicated, basically saying that the person using the technology is more important than the technology itself. Consumer Reports emphasizes that the troublesome systems in Ford and GM cars didn't solve their problems, but added even more features. It looks like Infiniti is going down the same, wrong road.
 

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Well, I don't know if you can look at it that way anymore. Technology in cars has become a very different animal and I feel like at a certain point, you can't always make everything "simpler" per se.

You'd think that'd be the case from a general standpoint, but in a car, it's much more complicated because you're always going to be somewhat limited in how far you can slide that scale between ease, control, and access.

The thing I'm seeing is, that the technology now being available in cars is becoming overwhelming--there's just so much going on at your fingertips. So many things at your control, so many options and features, from operating the safety features, navigation features, infotainment and radio, HVAC, steering/suspension/performance modifications, seating position and lighting, etc.

There's only so much that can be simplified in a car before it's incredibly hard to do manually.

I'm not sure what the solution is or how to get around this...I'm an efficiency engineer by trade, but this kind of field isn't exactly in my wheelhouse.
 

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Agree with Selzini. Making tech simpler should be priority one, but I do think its doable.

Technology seems to be mostly used by car companies to fill a feature checklist on a spec sheet with usability and reliability an afterthought. Most cases the systems end up poorly implemented. Why is that? Maybe it's lack of expertise combined with insistence that it all must be designed and developed in-house, I don't know. If that's the case, how about bringing in expertise to design a proper system with a great UI? InTouch isn't the worst offender, but it's definitely not simple to use. It's so crammed with features that they still can't get them all to work, and sadly the UI seems to have been somewhat of an afterthought.

What would be interesting is if a company like Infiniti, which is great at designing cars, would partner with a company like Google or Apple, which are great at designing usable software. Or a thousand other smaller design firms that are equally good. The result could be something fantastic and reliable. Everybody wins, including the end user.

Just editing to add: Don't get me wrong, I think that Infiniti does a lot of things *right* when it comes to design of functions inside the car. For instance, the fact that they still keep many physical buttons on the dash, even though those buttons have a touchscreen counterpart, was smart. When your eyes are glued to the road, a quick glance and tactile feedback will always beat looking at and navigating a touch screen for the right thing to tap.
 
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Manufacturers have to make their cars interesting somehow right?

Just look at smartphones... They are getting so complicated. And the specs are getting so crazy!

But do we really use ALL the features? Or all the power? And do these features always work properly? Nah.. But its cool to have the latest and greatest.

The same goes for cars. They throw on as many features as they can think of. Hoping to make one that someone will really use. But will we be using all the features that are available in the market? I doubt it.

But its nice to have... But the problem is that these features are usually complicated. And complicated means a potential for problems.

Well what can you do about it.. If you want to avoid technology just buy older cars. To me there is an appeal to old fashioned simple cars with old fashioned designs.

But thats not why we are all here - we are here for the Q50. Which is a pretty complicated and feature packed car.

I think some features are evolving and becoming more useful. They are starting to actually work. Even the big 3. Alot of their in car systems have gotten alot more usable and alot less complicated. Everyones gotta start somewhere.

You ever sit in like a 2000s era Mercedes and try to use the features? There is a button for everything and half the features dont even work properly :p But they've also gone a long way. Playing with the new Mercedes navigations and in car audio features is 10x easier now. And they work! Most of the time.
 

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Confusion creates demand for their service solutions.

Politicians and car companies are gr8 at it.

Most of the technology (driver aids) in the Infiniti's (Specially Q50) can be turned off.
 

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Or you know, not purchased at all. There is a reason why they sell it as a separate "Technology package"

And don't tell me you cannot get a separate tech package on the hybrid. It's technology that makes the hybrid system possible. If you insist on being a Luddite, don't buy a loaded Q50 or the hybrid. You can get the base model with leather and still enjoy a luxury car.
 

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Confusion creates demand for their service solutions.

Politicians and car companies are gr8 at it.

Most of the technology (driver aids) in the Infiniti's (Specially Q50) can be turned off.
If there was only a way to turn off politicians too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Or you know, not purchased at all. There is a reason why they sell it as a separate "Technology package"

And don't tell me you cannot get a separate tech package on the hybrid. It's technology that makes the hybrid system possible. If you insist on being a Luddite, don't buy a loaded Q50 or the hybrid. You can get the base model with leather and still enjoy a luxury car.
You'd probably call me one of your Luddites, but you aren't addressing the real problem. I'm certainly not against advancements in technology - otherwise, I'd be watch a B/W television on a 25" RCA console instead of on plasma and LCD flat screens. The driving aspect of the car is great to me, and that includes the safety innovations and the ability to set the personal driving modes. No, the problem is the rush to push "advancements" out there, whether they are proven, relatively trouble free, and ready for the mass-market, just to have the bragging rights to the latest and greatest. As the video says, the person using the technology should be the first consideration. As far as the Q50 is concerned, I feel lucky. I have had two freeze-ups, and none since the first update. However, I do feel the frustration of those who are having constant problems, and am extremely disappointed in Infiniti, which is unfortunately going to be hurt eventually by all of this mess.
 

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Software by its very nature will always have issues and problems, it will never be 100%. Remember the original BMW iDrive? Or the Benz navigation? Never fixed, just improved. As long as infiniti rolls out stability updates, i am fine.
 

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Software by its very nature will always have issues and problems, it will never be 100%. Remember the original BMW iDrive? Or the Benz navigation? Never fixed, just improved. As long as infiniti rolls out stability updates, i am fine.
No offense, but this was the attitude people had with smartphones pre-2007. Folks were fine with them, even though many (most?) devices had atrocious software. The phones were "good enough." Thankfully that changed!
 

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There is a difference between technology being pushed out there and improperly implemented technology being pushed out there. Just because Ford, Infiniti, etc. have bug-ridden software doesn't mean the technology is bad - it's the implementation. The iPhone interface was "forced" on people, too. The Tesla (hey look - a car loaded with tech and touchscreens) was "forced" on people, too. Amazon's Kindle is revolutionizing reading. All of these use touchscreens and I know the iPhone and Kindle were derided in the press for being "not ready for public consumption", not because the technology wasn't ready, but people thought nobody would adopt them over existing standards. When advanced technology is implemented well, people will follow.

There are times you shoot the messenger, because it's not the message that's wrong.
 

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And something from bloomberg.

article said:
Consumer Reports pulled its recommendation for Toyota Motor Corp.’s Camry sedan and said post-bankruptcy General Motors Co. is among the automakers cracking Japanese brands’ dominance in fielding reliable cars.
Consumer Reports isn’t recommending any version of the Camry, the top-selling U.S. car the past 11 years, for the first time since the automaker’s 2010 sudden-acceleration crisis, said Jake Fisher, the magazine’s director of automotive testing. While Toyota and Honda Motor Co. held the top three spots in the annual auto-reliability survey released yesterday, GM’s GMC and Buick posted gains. Volkswagen AG’s Audi cracked the top five.

Eroding dominance in quality and reliability weakens Japanese automakers’ long-held advantage that spurred growth in the U.S. at the expense of Detroit carmakers. Endorsements from Yonkers, New York-based Consumer Reports are sought by automakers because the magazine has built credibility by buying the vehicles it tests and refusing auto advertising.

“A lot of people do buy these vehicles just banking on their quality -- I’m going to go buy a Honda or a Toyota because I know it’s going to be reliable,” Fisher said yesterday in an interview. “Some of our data is showing that’s not the case.”

The Camry was among four vehicles, including three Toyotas, that are losing recommendations after being rated poor in a new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety test. Toyota’s RAV4 sport-utility vehicle and Prius v hybrid wagon, and Audi’s A4 sedan also lost recommendations after low ratings in the tests, which evaluate a crash between the front corner of the vehicle and another car, a tree or a pole.

Lexus No. 1

The insurance institute “periodically develops new, more severe or specialized tests that go beyond federal requirements,” Cindy Knight, a Toyota spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “The institute has raised the bar again, and we are responding to the challenge. We are looking at a range of solutions to achieve greater crash performance in this area.”
Toyota’s Lexus and namesake brands captured the top two spots in the reliability survey. Honda’s premium Acura brand was third, followed by Audi and Mazda Motor Corp. GM’s GMC truck line was ninth, the only U.S. brand in the top 10. Buick gained nine spots to 12th.
The survey found models including Honda’s six-cylinder Accord sedan, Nissan Motor Co.’s Altima sedan and Pathfinder SUV, and Toyota’s Scion FR-S and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.’s Subaru BRZ sports car had below-average reliability. Consumer Reports collected data on 1.1 million vehicles and surveyed respondents on any problems they had with cars that were considered serious because of cost, failure, safety or downtime.


‘No Longer’
“Maybe there was a time that you could say well, if it’s a car from Subaru, it’s a car from Toyota, it’s going to be reliable,” Fisher said. “No longer are we seeing that.”
Nissan’s premium Infiniti, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.’s Volvo and Honda’s mainstream line rounded out the reliability survey’s top eight.

Consumer Reports last month awarded the new Chevrolet Silverado with the highest rating among all pickups after giving the Chevy Impala the best marks among all sedans in July.

“Post-bankruptcy GM has just gotten its stuff together,” said Fisher, a former development engineer at the Detroit-based automaker who worked mostly on the Cadillac and Saturn brands. “The vehicles that have been produced and designed” after bankruptcy have shown “marked change in terms of performance.”

Ford, Lincoln

Ford Motor Co., based in Dearborn, Michigan, remains plagued by nagging malfunctions with its electronics systems and powertrains in the reliability survey. The Ford and Lincoln lines ranked Nos. 26 and 27 out of 28 brands this year, as one of the automaker’s six-cylinder F-150 pickups was the only model that performed above average.

Ford’s rankings suffered because of defects with its MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch audio, entertainment and navigation systems and defects with transmissions on vehicles such as the Focus and Fiesta small cars, Fisher said.

“The electronics are definitely a big issue, but they have other problems, too,” he said. “Ford has done clean-sheet redesigns of so many vehicles, and as you would expect, there are going to be a bunch of different issues with that.”
Chrysler, Tesla
Chrysler Group LLC’s namesake brand and its Ram truck line climbed five and six spots, respectively, to both rank inside the top 20. Chrysler’s Jeep slipped four spots to No. 23 and Dodge was unchanged at No. 24.

“Chrysler is building these great products that are performing well, and unfortunately they’re a little hit-or-miss in terms of the quality,” Fisher said. “This is just a situation of maturity where they’re working out the bugs and you’re going to get great products that we can recommend.”

Tesla Motors Inc.’s Model S sedan earned Consumer Reports’ recommendation after testing as average on reliability. The Model S received the highest-ever vehicle rating from the magazine in May and needed to be at least average on reliability to get Consumer Reports’ recommendation.

“Surprisingly, there are no problems reported with the battery, the electric drivetrain,” Fisher said. “Some of the issues we saw were things like the door handles” which pop out of the side doors.

Tesla’s brand doesn’t rank in the reliability survey because it carries less than the three-model minimum to be included. Had Consumer Reports included the brand, it would have ranked No. 8, behind Volvo and ahead of Honda.
 

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And you mean to tell me that post-2007, software on smartphones is perfect?

If you believe that, I have a bridge in New York I'd like to sell you.
Of course not and I never stated that. I said most people prior to 2007 felt their phones were "good enough," and then disruption happened. If you think phone design hasn't improved as a result, well, I don't really know what to say then.

 

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The problem is that if someone comes out with better software or product they can own the market. BlackBerry ran right into that problem and even though their new phones are good, they are still being hurt by their reputation for out of date smartphones.
Chrysler uses a Nav system designed by Garmin and their user interface is much easier to use than most. The settings that you do not change when you are driving can be buried in the menu tree. It's the ones you use while you are driving.
Since this is all software driven they could make two modes for the user interface. One for the tech lovers and one for the people who want it simpler. Making everyone happy is good business.
 

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Agree with Selzini. Making tech simpler should be priority one, but I do think its doable.

Technology seems to be mostly used by car companies to fill a feature checklist on a spec sheet with usability and reliability an afterthought. Most cases the systems end up poorly implemented. Why is that? Maybe it's lack of expertise combined with insistence that it all must be designed and developed in-house, I don't know. If that's the case, how about bringing in expertise to design a proper system with a great UI? InTouch isn't the worst offender, but it's definitely not simple to use. It's so crammed with features that they still can't get them all to work, and sadly the UI seems to have been somewhat of an afterthought.

What would be interesting is if a company like Infiniti, which is great at designing cars, would partner with a company like Google or Apple, which are great at designing usable software. Or a thousand other smaller design firms that are equally good. The result could be something fantastic and reliable. Everybody wins, including the end user.

Just editing to add: Don't get me wrong, I think that Infiniti does a lot of things *right* when it comes to design of functions inside the car. For instance, the fact that they still keep many physical buttons on the dash, even though those buttons have a touchscreen counterpart, was smart. When your eyes are glued to the road, a quick glance and tactile feedback will always beat looking at and navigating a touch screen for the right thing to tap.
Even Tesla designed their software in-house. No royalties to pay.
 

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Even Tesla designed their software in-house. No royalties to pay.
They also poach expertise from the likes of Apple, which tells you right there that their approach is different. I wouldn't put them in the same class of the companies reported on by CR.
 
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