Like sensor technology and automotive lighting, infotainment systems are now commonplace in all sorts of new vehicles. Mostly used by car manufacturers and provided by suppliers on, these systems are also installed in lorries, tractors and even luxury boats. Essentially, these devices are designed to be multi-functioning, hence the portmanteau term used to describe them – a combination of 'information' and 'entertainment'.

Although infotainment systems vary greatly, they all have certain key features which are commonly shared. A visual display is one of these. Basically, the display of the system will alter depending on the mode that the device is being used in. Although some displays are touch sensitive and some are not, they all tend to produce information, when needed, and entertainment, at other times. A typical example of this in action would be a display that shows the average speed and fuel consumption of a vehicle, or the upcoming route, as worked out by an integrated GPS navigation system. When an entertainment setting is chosen, however, the display might show things like the available radio stations in the given locality or even allow access to video games.

In-car entertainment systems which integrate with information displays is what the concept behind infotainment is all about. Internet-enabled systems will allow car users to view streamed TV programmes and videos as well as playing DVDs and CDs. Many have some safety features in place to help make sure that the driver of a vehicle is not distracted by such media. As the technology used in cars continues to become more sophisticated, so infotainment systems will only become more complex. Traders can keep up to date with the latest technology in the industry by registering with

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Actia Automotive SA

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