In-Car Entertainment


In-Car Entertainment, (sometimes referred to as ICE, or IVI as in In-Vehicle Infotainment), is a collection of hardware devices installed into automobiles, or other forms of transportation, to provide audio and/or audio/visual entertainment, as well as automotive navigation systems (SatNav). This includes playing media such as CDs, DVDs, Freeview/TV, USB and/or other optional surround sound, or DSP systems. Also increasingly common in ICE installs are the incorporation of video game consoles into the vehicle.

In-Car Entertainment systems have been featured in TV shows such as MTV's Pimp My Ride. In Car Entertainment has been become more widely available due to reduced costs of devices such as LCD screen/monitors, and the reducing cost to the consumer of the converging media playable technologies. Single hardware units are capable of playing CD, MP3, WMA, DVD.

Car audio

Main article: Car audio

The term "car audio" describes the specific application of sound generation within ICE. Such devices include Radio/CD head units, speakers, subwoofers and their enclosures, and amplifiers.

Gaming consoles

Gaming consoles can be a popular source of entertainment when installed in a car. In addition to playing games, modern consoles can play other media as well, such as DVDs and audio CDs. The main problem to overcome is power, since consoles are designed to operate from mains power. This can be achieved using an inverter, or in some cases a DC-DC power supply.

Carputers

Main article: Carputer

Carputers are specially adapted computers, designed to operate in a car environment. Carputers can provide many functions, such as video and audio playback, games and Internet connectivity.

Internet

Main article: In-car internet

Internet is an increasingly popular option in cars. According to a study by market researcher Invensity, by the year 2013, every new car built in Europe will be equipped with Internet connection.[1]

Safety Concerns

Policies regarding in car entertainment systems are less developed than cell phone usage laws regarding similar distractions in cars. In the United States, 10 states, D.C., Guam and the Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving. Additionally, 39 states, D.C., Guam and the Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers. However, few states have developed laws to limit the content that drivers can view on in car entertainment systems.[2]

Still, researchers are beginning to analyze the potential impact of distracted drivers on the roads. Charlie Klauer, a researcher at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, says that drivers who look at screens have a much higher risk of crashing. Furthermore, the risk of crashing rises exponentially the longer a driver has taken their eyes off the road.[3]

Automotive companies like Ford and Audi contend that they have tested and revised their latest systems in order to reduce the amount of time that drivers spend looking away from the road.<[3] However, regulations that standardize the limits on distracted driving caused by computers in cars are underdeveloped, so most auto manufacturers are free to develop systems without much oversight.

See also

References

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