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2021: An Infotainment Odyssey (for Infiniti)

Listen up, kids…

I realize that this may be hard to believe, but there was a time (not too long ago) when there was no such thing as an infotainment system. There were no touchscreen interfaces. There were no voice command features. To many of you, this might be the stuff of nightmares, so we’ll refrain from sharing that there was also no WiFi, satellite radio, or in-cabin DVD systems. Wait, did we let that sleep. Great, now you’ll all be sleeping with your nightlight on.

Fortunately, that’s no longer the case. Across the automotive spectrum, most makes and models feature well-realized infotainment systems, even at the base trim level. That said, some automakers are more successful than others, and the rule of subjectivity still applies: what features one driver might praise, another might condemn.

An example of such a divisive feature is the dual-screen infotainment system. Normally dedicating one screen to navigation and the other to entertainment, the dual-screen garners some criticism for occupying too much space, creating too many driving distractions, and for disparate resolution and image quality. Fans of the styling enjoy the uninterrupted tandem functionality. This disjointed reception is echoed in the automotive industry’s point-of-view towards it, as well.  Acura is an example of an automaker who is transitioning away from the dual-screen, while Jaguar and Land Rover have transitioned towards it. But perhaps the most vocal proponent is Nissan, by-the-way of Infiniti.

If you’re not familiar with the layout and functionality of Infiniti’s most recent dual-screen infotainment system, here’s a crash course of what it has to offer:

Infiniti has recently endured its fair share of criticism regarding their dual-screen layout but has announced that the same format will be used in the updated next-gen system to be introduced in 2021. In fact, it has been shared that the screens will likely be increased in terms of size. While we expect this to prove as equally divisive, we have to appreciate the conviction it displays in support of the aesthetic. One can only hope that evolution in technology will empower Infiniti to standardize the image quality so that the screens feel more consistent and mutually integrated.

This combined with pending updates to music-streaming technology might be easily overlooked to those fixated upon powertrain, body styling, and fascia updates. But at the end of the day, infotainment systems that intuitive, functional and safe do a lot to enhance our driving experience.

That said, what are your thoughts on the dual-screen layout?

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