Operating navigation systems continues to be a challenge for many drivers (Photo: BMW)

Drivers appreciate different functions in their in-car infotainment systems, depending on where they live, according to a new study. GfK, a German market researcher, found that drivers in Germany, Italy, Japan and the US consider entering a place of interest (POI) or finding a phone book contact difficult functions.

These two operations rank first and second for difficulty in Germany and Italy. But American drivers say switching destinations is just as difficult as entering a point of interests, while Japanese drivers say that understanding system commands is the most complex function of all.

Drivers in different countries also didn't agree on which functions have the greatest impact on overall user experience. In Japan and Italy, understanding system commands came first for assessing overall usability. In the US it was in second place after understanding icons used on the system's display. German drivers said that entering a POI has the biggest impact on the overall user experience.

"Testing and adjusting auto infotainment systems to each region, if not to each local market, is essential," said Wolfgang Waxenberger, senior director of user experience at GfK, "especially for premium European auto brands wanting to score highly in markets like Japan."