German luxury marques top technology index

Telematics Research Group has done a study on the use of technology gizmos in cars. BMW and Mercedes Benz tops the list, and Hyundai comes in last. Audi seems to be lagging behind it’s other two German counterparts. These are brands in the USA, for 2006 and 2007 models. Click the image for a bigger version.


I think it’s pretty normal, luxury car markers tend to include more of these kind of computer assists and gadgets into their cars compared to car makers that focus on economy like Hyundai. In fact I would be suprised if Hyundai appeared any higher on the list.

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Paul Tan

After dabbling for years in the IT industry, Paul Tan initially began this site as a general blog covering various topics of personal interest. With an increasing number of readers paying rapt attention to the motoring stories, one thing led to another and the rest, as they say, is history.



  • infinity (Member) on Apr 07, 2006 at 8:15 am

    wat bout proton?? i always read in proton's article saying tat malaysia is one of the 11 countries tat produce car…so, is proton left out the list??i dunno much bout hyundai cars…are they much better than proton?

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  • Paul Tan on Apr 07, 2006 at 8:17 am

    they don't sell Protons in the US.

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  • tbcheese (Member) on Apr 07, 2006 at 9:43 am

    what's telematics?

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  • ToiletBowl (Member) on Apr 07, 2006 at 4:24 pm

    infinity bro,

    based on their achievement in the US, i can say hyundai is far far away better than proton. they i just slightly behind honda + toyota. in some aspects, they even beat the big three (Ford, Chrysler, GM).

    btw, there are a few things that makes me 'sad' about the result :

    1. hyundai, which is relatively sebaya with proton, already playing around with the worlds' top manufacturer

    2. the cars in US must be much2 more canggih than what we have in malaysia. (they have telephones in their cars?) but we have to pay much2 more for that lousy cars.

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  • Initial D (Member) on Apr 07, 2006 at 4:49 pm

    wow, surprise hyundai is there!!!!!!

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  • pycazu (Member) on Apr 07, 2006 at 7:07 pm

    Hi tbcheese,

    telematics is actually electronics gadget of telecommunication intergrated into car that to perform like tracking vehicle locations, recovering stolen vehicles, GPS blah blah… and many more to come. They oso use it to collect the tol money. I wish it won't inspire Samy Vellu to implement it here to further suck our blood.

    Personally I'm not too sure on how true the chart showing, because those Jpn car makers like Lexus@Toyota should being among the top of the list after BMW and merc. Or maybe those electronics-packed vehicle not available at US.

    OK, fine, just my 2 cents as I'm involved in this field.

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  • Tourist (Member) on Apr 07, 2006 at 7:15 pm

    Having too many advanced electronic is not necessarily a good thing. Just look at why Mercedes were at the bottom of reliability list to see why. And not counting extra cost to have the thing diagnosed and repaired at expensive franchise workshop. And god forbids should you ever have your “advanced” 4wd go haywire deep inside the jungle.

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  • pycazu (Member) on Apr 07, 2006 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Tourist,

    Yes, u're right. Last month came across that I saw 2 cars broke down on roadside in not so far distance. Guess wat, sarcastically found out that 1 is BMW, n another 1 is Merc.

    But this trend must go on la, if not many rice bowl gone woh! :p

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  • triplesaber (Member) on Apr 07, 2006 at 8:14 pm

    The US market is the most competitive as the yankees have the most purchasing power, but at least Hyundai make it there, and itsa good building foundation already. Proton still has a loooooooong way to go to ever reach the us shore.

    These americans love big cars, jeeps, 4wd, macho is the word, size does matter to them, as opposed to Europeans' love for hatchbacks, compacts, organic-shaped cars.. Thts why my bro-in-law in Maryland who drives a Dodge Magnum doesnt like my wife's Atos here in Msia, too rounded-shaped and lacks the ass-kickin cowboy attitude..yeehaw.

    In order to penetrate the us market, the makers have to add on these many extra gizmos, its like, being a designer, id say its like photoshop with plug-ins.

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  • Tourist (Member) on Apr 07, 2006 at 8:28 pm

    A Westerner I once took in my 4wd kept laughing along the road. I asked him why and this is exactly what he said: "Why are there so many golf ball sized cars on your road?". He was refering to your wife's Atos, Kenari, Kelisa, Savvy etc. What can I say?

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  • mystvearn (Member) on Apr 07, 2006 at 8:46 pm

    Volvo is quite low on the list. Maybe they know that too much computer system is a distraction to the driving, so keep it to a minimum.

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  • moby (Member) on Apr 07, 2006 at 10:36 pm

    Hyundai only scored points in the digital entertainment & headunit. Isn't this ICE? I was wondering what is so high-tech about ICE?

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  • triplesaber (Member) on Apr 07, 2006 at 10:40 pm

    Haha..Tourist. Well, i guess tht what makes us unique = we r cute.

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  • motorhead (Member) on Apr 07, 2006 at 11:16 pm

    for motorhead.. a car is a car.. no need so much gizmo.. real motorheads only enjoy handling, engines, power & pickup… most of the time when i drive i keep the radio silent.. sound of the engine is enough.. can know the engine is healthy or not.. less gizmo, less electronic, less wiring, less problem….. so instance, Ferrari oso less gizmo..

    Let the good times roll….

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  • Joe Ooi (Member) on Apr 07, 2006 at 11:55 pm

    "use of technology gizmos in cars"

    The ranking method is only applicable for the above variable only – technology gizmos in cars. This ranking is subjective as the sample use are from super luxury to mass produce economic cars with big price range! Can't show any result except for the above – It doesn't measure other variable like "safety", "reliabiltiy", "handling", "confort", etc. BMW and Mercs rank high because their car are full of this variable! That why they are ranking high! If all important "variables" taken into consideration, than it give better overall ranking! Toyota and Honda shall have better ranking! So our comment basically shall limited to tech gizmos only!

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  • triplesaber (Member) on Apr 08, 2006 at 12:07 am

    yeah, specially when we grow older n wiser, we dont rely much on the gizmos of our cars. thts also one of the reason why my choice of car transmission will forever be manual, i like the mechanical feel of it. 11 years ago i was such a young dude with a new driving license n raging hormones (hehe) and loved to play rock music loudly in my dad's old 80s Corona and w/o his permission, i changed the gear knob into somethin more sporty. Now, a family man, i care less about listening to the latest pop or playing them loud in my car. Music is just there to fill up the gaping hole.

    But gizmos to enhance the car's performance ok la i think.

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  • tbcheese (Member) on Apr 08, 2006 at 1:59 am

    thanks for the info pycazu

    sigh all this talk about driving pleasure is making me depressed. Haven't touched a steering wheel for 8 months already.

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  • clark_kent (Member) on Apr 09, 2006 at 8:01 am

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  • king (Member) on Apr 09, 2006 at 1:16 pm

    pycazu, are you sure u are in this field ? or are you on lexus/toyota's payroll?

    my brother owns a 2002 model lexus IS 200 and the car technology is equivalent to E36 BMW more than 10 yrs ago. He bought it just because he likes the design. The IS was built to rival the 3series not the other way round. And toyota only advanced in hybrid technology.why should it be at the top?

    IMO german marques are too advanced for their own good. here in taxland ppl are not capable to service these advanced cars. Most independent mechanics outside only know how to service potongs.

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  • king (Member) on Apr 09, 2006 at 1:38 pm


    vehicle telematics systems may be used for a number of purposes, including collecting road tolls, managing road usage (eg.the united states department of transportation intelligent transportation system), tracking fleet vehicle locations, recovering stolen vehicles, providing automatic collision notification, and providing remote diagnostics; a vehicle's in-built systems will identify a mechanical or electronic problem, and the telematics package will automatically make this information known to the vehicle manufacturer and service organisation. other applications include on-demand navigation, audio and audio-visual entertainment content.

    Head unit should refer to the component system of the vehicle.

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