When I was talking to the Research and Marketing VP at SEMA, this is one of the themes I touched on. Development costs and cost effectiveness are of course a big factor, but if you are to consider the big picture right now, car manufacturers are NOT being cost effective and are in fact increasing their development costs.Originally Posted by Wiredwrx
Having a universal gps/infotainment system that is capable of running on all the cars out there would make such systems several times cheaper than any manufacturer is able to do right now. Such universal system would most likely be based on some sort of computer design. The reason that none of the manufacturers want to do that is that they are AFRAID. They use their gps/infotainment systems as one of the selling points. Quite often the systems are not that good, but they are still "unique" and that's what any manufacturer is striving for. Although I personally consider that fear rather ridiculous (SEMA guy agreed with me ), it is there.
My guess is that it will take an outsider to force them to see it this way. When carputer systems become more standardized (that might take sometime) and systems appear that are easy to install/use right out of the box, even companies like Lexus will have to take notice.
P.S. Almost forgot, another fear that car manufacturers voiced and that I could not quite understand, was the proper separation of the infotainment system from the rest of car electronics... That was their serious concern. Weirdos.