Being a muscle car fan, I have almost always driven older cars; I have never really paid attention to the entertainment systems when sitting in the newer ones, etc.
Recently, I'm driving a new rental in Europe (from Renault) and I have to say that this has to have one of most horrible user interface ever designed.
There is a video of this abomination here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRV5sW8xzDU
- buttons that you use all the time have the same sizes as buttons you almost never use.
- on some screens, there are no indications of what is clickable and what is not
- the menus show inconsistency in design and, in a few cases, you enter a subsection to have a single choice there. Maybe it was planned for more options?
- the keyboard has a huge 'options' button where the space bar normally is and the 'space' button where the shift key is normally located. really fun to use
- the gps search feature is incapable to rival with the iPhone 1.
the whole thing is powered by what seems like an 8bit CPU, uses a resistive touchscreen which is very unresponsive (yes, I know, that means it can work with gloves, and be horrible with fingers) and, on a good day it can maybe draw 3 frames per second if the map is not too complex.
when you connect an iPhone to the USB port, it starts playing music without asking; nevermind about charging only and there is no option to disable that.
I'm skipping a few of the other great choices. Essentially the design has completely ignored 10-15 years of UI development.
Before writing this question, I was reading an article that was covering cars from different manufacturers and it seems like it is a generalized problem.
So, my question is:
Since it is not conceivable that such a large company would willfully market something so bad to its customers, I was wondering if, in the automotive world, there are some software platforms that fit some, possibly legal, requirements and they have to build their systems on it? For example in Aviation you can't really 'just change code' without spending a lot of money to re-certify it.
I am assuming the unit with the display is totally separated from the car's main computer, so I can't see what the problem would be to have a different system.
What am I missing?