An in-car navigation system.

In an age when cars—like so many of the products we use—are growing increasingly complex, it has never been more important for drivers to be vigilant about the choices they make before they get behind the wheel. Years ago, that sort of judgment was limited to the physical safety, performance, and reliability of a vehicle. Today, however, threats to our safety and comfort on the road can come from poorly designed software just as they might from worn-out brakes or a faulty transmission. Our cars are now routinely equipped with sophisticated dashboard panels, touch screens, voice recognition systems, and other technologies that we rely on for navigation, entertainment, and communication.

more on car technology

This month, CR members offer feedback on their infotainment systems to help shine a light on the ever-expanding world of in-car technology. We all know that a more responsive touch screen or an intuitive display can make the split-second difference between tech that serves our needs and tech that puts us at risk. If the routing app frequently crashes, if our request to “call Bob” gets interpreted as “call boss,” or if it takes an unwieldy swipe and three clicks to skip to the next song, it makes it all the more likely that we’ll take our focus away from the road.

In a separate investigation, we examine how car recalls aren’t adequately communicated to people when they shop for used vehicles. Millions of defective, dangerous vehicles remain on the market, putting consumers at risk. (Find out whether your car has a recall with CR’s Car Recall Tracker.) In a world of rising complexity, CR wants to help you keep your eyes on the choices that matter most—so you can keep your focus on the road ahead.

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the June 2019 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.