4 Vehicle Infotainment Trends to Watch in 2022

Trends in technology come and go year after year. What’s popular one minute might not be the next. Comparatively, for the automotive industry, it’s exactly the same. Automakers are constantly taking ideas for new infotainment functionality from each other. We’ve seen the rise of substantially larger infotainment screens in recent years, a trend started by Tesla. Here are a few vehicle infotainment trends to watch in 2022.

A vehicle infotainment trend is adding more connectivity

Tesla Model S infotainment, many vehicle infotainment trends started with Tesla.
Tesla Model S infotainment | Tesla

Connectivity in vehicles means accessing and sending data, primarily using internet connectivity. According to Samsung, 80 million new connected cars will drive onto US roads between 2020 and 2025. More people will pay for it when more automakers start implementing Wi-Fi connectivity. In 2022 and beyond, more and more vehicles equipped with connectivity capability are coming out. In addition, it’s going to continue to increase even more when electric models flood the streets.

Connecting a smartphone directly through onboard Wi-Fi sensors allows owners to access messaging, navigation, music, and other phone apps. Moreover, the ability to do that and more from the comfort of a vehicle is great for working parents or just very busy people. However, Samsung says that embedded connectivity has been available for years and ships in 95% of all new cars. In 2022, there’s a rise in popularity for it due to lower cost and higher customer demand.

Over-the-air infotainment updates

Mercedes-Benz EQS - vehicle infotainment trends in 2022.
Mercedes-Benz EQS interior and infotainment display | Matthias Balk via Getty Images

You’re not alone if you heard the term “over-the-air” and became confused. Fortunately, it’s a straightforward concept that only requires minimal explanation. Tesla introduced this feature in its vehicles much earlier than others. However, now it’s becoming essential to automakers everywhere. Over-the-air updates allow automakers to make changes, repairs, and fix software bugs remotely via Wi-Fi.

Best of all, this type of feature is free of charge with any applicable vehicle. It’s crucial as infotainment systems become more and more complex. With more features come more inevitable problems. Furthermore, over-the-air updates ensure those problems can be repaired and save owners a trip to a dealership. Lastly, owners can get them in their current model if an infotainment system receives upgrades or new features. You’ll no longer need to buy the latest model year to have the newest infotainment system version.

Automakers are putting 5G in vehicles

A Ford Mustang Mach-E interior display using Ford Sync 4 infotainment technology.
Ford Mustang Mach-E interior with Ford Sync 4 infotainment | Ford

In the same vein as connectivity, automakers are upgrading their connections. Replacing 4G, initially rolled out in 2014, is 5G. This upgrade is another reason for the boost in the popularity of in-vehicle Wi-Fi connections. 5G provides owners with high-speed data up to 10x faster than 4G. Furthermore, other benefits include high-definition maps, new services, on-demand entertainment, and more. According to Samsung, automakers will include 5G in 27% of new vehicles by 2025.

Gaming on the go

Add it to the list of things Tesla did first. Video games inside vehicles are a fast-growing trend. It’s nothing new; in-car entertainment for passengers has always been a primary concern of car buyers. However, it was always DVD-watching on tiny six-inch screens that qualified as an “entertainment system.” In the past, gaming inside a vehicle has been made possible with finicky hookups, tiny screens, and all-around uncomfortable positions. With options like Tesla infotainment, gaming is accessible and just as good as your home.

Along with 5G connectivity, graphical processing units (GPUs) will be installed in vehicles. These allow the infotainment system to process video and gaming content more clearly and smoothly. Additionally, subscription-based services like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and more are readily available on the same screen. Tesla’s gaming setup offers ten teraflops of computing power, which is up to par with modern gaming consoles. Features like these are essential for long family road trips.

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If you want the latest and greatest infotainment system and features inside your vehicles, watch out for a few things. In short, growing vehicle infotainment trends in 2022 include more connectivity, 5G, over-the-air updates, and gaming capability. In short, a vehicle with all of these features is about as modern as it can get in 2022. They’re the four vehicle infotainment trends to watch in 2022.

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