While everyone should understand the technology in their car, many consumers balk at today's options, overwhelmed by the variety. A number of trends work quietly to transform our driving experience. The information revolution, the desire for safer vehicles and the evolution toward autonomous cars pushes much of the change.

Today’s infotainment systems play a part. The touchscreen looks like a small tablet or smartphone. Indeed, you can do phone conversations, read texts or navigate into a parking spot in reverse with a rear camera. You can check out road conditions or equipment issues. While all the information from the touchscreen works in today's world, some aspects of car infotainment won’t be realized until a future when consumers let cars drive themselves. With their focus free, they'll look to sources of information for a variety of reasons.

The infotainment center provides audio sound from whatever source you like. You can listen to the radio or music streamed from a Bluetooth receiver. Secondly, you can plug in your smartphone and use the apps found there. You can listen to music, read texts and podcasts, or look up destinations with the navigation features. You can also listen to audio-books while you drive. The second-row infotainment system provides a glimpse of the future because the second seat occupants don't operate the vehicle. In the second row, you can see the possibilities when cars become fully autonomous. For the time being, car makers are calling the second-row seats a home theater experience. At a future date, everyone will tune into news on the screen, read the newspaper or check emails. Fully autonomous cars mean a body-free driving experience will be like riding the bus. You’ll wonder why you didn't bring a book.

If you want to find out how easy infotainment systems are to use, experience one with a test drive at your dealer.

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