As these changes occur, system developers are also turning to the cloud to get the latest information. Servers in the cloud can provide better point-of-interest information or help voice recognition systems improve their level of understanding. In-vehicle hardware will always be limited compared to the infinite storage capabilities available to connected vehicles. After all, drivers don’t care where data is stored; they simply want to understand all their available options, which may include a restaurant that opened just a few days earlier.
Advanced systems are also helping drivers make decisions by displaying the points of interest on the map. That can make the decisions process far easier than when systems show a directional arrow and a distance. Often, ease of access can be as important as the type of food.
Vehicles can link to the cloud one of two ways. Many cars have built-in modems which let the vehicle connect to OnStar, Uconnect, Blue Link, HondaLink or another service. These modems can easily be accessed by navigation systems.
The other alternative is to leverage the driver’s mobile phone. This tethered approach is becoming more common as in-vehicle infotainment systems offer channels to link to cell phones. However, smart phones are a double-edged sword for automakers and navigation system suppliers. Phones can enhance functions including navigation, but they can also reduce the need for in-vehicle navigation. Phones provide effective navigation that’s effectively free, since most drivers own a mobile phone. However, in-vehicle navigation systems are tightly integrated with the infotainment unit and other vehicle systems. For example tight integration with audio makes it easier to hear directions especially if the on-board infotainment system is used to play loud music, while connection to networked modules helps the vehicle navigate when satellite links are interrupted.
Another important advantage of in-car navigation systems