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The Evolution of Infotainment

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In 1930, the radio became a standard feature in American cars. For many decades, the radio was the only gadget that could really qualify as an "infotainment system." But today there are a variety of these bells and whistles in automobiles at every price point.

Infotainment systems are the non-critical features in your vehicle that assist with communication and navigation (the "info" part) and help keep auto owners and passengers entertained (the "tainment" part). Today we will look at some of the most popular features.

Global Positioning System

For decades, car travel navigation required a paper map and passenger to read it. (This method has no doubt triggered its share of marital discord.) Now our vehicles connect to satellites in space to tell us where we are and help us find our destination. Many navigation systems also interface with real-time traffic data to help you choose the fastest route.


Bluetooth is the short-range wireless connection that allows electronic devices to communicate. Many automobiles have systems that pair to your cell phone allowing for hands-free calling. For older automobiles there are numerous after-market Bluetooth systems that are economical and easy to install.

In-Car Wi-Fi

Using your cell phone as a hot spot in the car has always been problematic. It would burn through the phone battery and likely drain your data for the month. But now many automobiles have the Wi-Fi connection included. Because a large, high-quality antenna is built into the car, you can even stream video on the road!

Satellite Radio

The humble car radio has also gotten a high-tech upgrade. Satellite radio signals are broadcast nationwide for the express purpose of reaching people in vehicles. This allows for a wide variety of programming options, if you're willing to pay the subscription fee.

Is there an infotainment system that you just can't live without? We would love to know. Enter it in the comments section. Also, we invite you to consult the team of specialists at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair with all of your automotive repair needs. Whether your automobile has an 8-track player or a Wi-Fi connection to satisfy eight teenagers' internet needs, we'll take care of you. Call us today!