Computers have become ubiquitous, so it’s no surprise that they’ve entered our cars. They actually made their first appearance long ago for maintenance and diagnostic systems, but now, they’re available to the driver and passengers.
There’s no web-surfing to be had (yet), though GM is taking the lead in this arena, in-car computers can provide you with safety features and navigation capabilities. Most new cars come with onboard computers that will notify an ambulance if you get in an accident and give you turn-by-turn directions to help you find your way to your destination. There seem to be more choices for your onboard device every day, so which one is right for you?
The first and most recognizable name is OnStar. We talked about the value of OnStar last week. This system comes in most new GM automobiles and offers emergency services like automatic crash response, which you can use if you have or see another person experiencing a medical emergency. Another great feature is the crisis assist, which will keep you updated about weather alerts and man-made catastrophes. It will also alert authorities if it senses you have had an accident but cannot respond.
You will also receive monthly reports regarding your car’s diagnostics, keeping you up to date on the condition of your vehicle. OnStar also features hands-free calling and turn-by-turn navigation.
Another option is the Orion VIS system. Orion VIS has one major advantage over OnStar in that it is compatible with all of your vehicles. You can move it from car to car with ease. It has almost all of the same features of OnStar, so if portability is important to you, then this may be the gadget for you.
Finally, there is the Ford’s version of the onboard computer, Sync. The major advantage to this model is that it provides you with live operators to help you find local businesses and addresses. They will also provide you with live turn-by-turn directions. This is really convenient for those who hate wrestling with a computer to get the correct search results. You can also sync your smartphone to your car’s computer. You’ll be able to access and use all the apps on your phone on the car’s computer screen. Sync also offers hands-free calling to keep your drive safe.
Check out this exclusive demonstration for IndyAutoBlog by SYNC expert Javier Rosales at Hubler Ford in Shelbyville, Indiana.
It seems that OnStar has set the bar high, but other competitors seem to be coming out of the woodwork with designs based on the OnStar’s standards. But they each have variations that make them unique. Choosing an onboard computer comes down to your needs and preferences and the make and model of car you buy. Do you already have a preference for one system over another? Let us know!