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2013 Infiniti JX35: Getting Us One Step Closer To A Driverless Car

Music And Movie Playback

Infiniti equips its Hard Drive Navigation System with familiar AM/FM, Sirius XM satellite radio, DVD playback, and USB ports for compatibility with most popular media formats. Although a lot of control is possible through the touchscreen, you also get traditional volume and tuning control knobs, as well as buttons for direct source and preset selection. We actually prefer this. Touch-based displays require your attention, which is a bad thing when you're driving a 4,400-pound wrecking ball. It's a lot easier to get the "feel" for where the button you want is located without ever taking eyes off the road.

AM/FM and Sirius XM are common, and controlling them is easy (though it's worth noting that you cannot time-shift the satellite radio). There is no HD Radio here, which is a bummer because we've really grown to like it. If you enjoy listening to the radio, you'll have to live with good old analog broadcasts. Considering Infiniti's asking price and the JX35's technological complexity, it's really pretty unforgivable not to support HD Radio.

You'll find a USB port in the armrest console for easy interfacing with a flash drive or iPod. We popped in a thumb drive and played music off of it for most of our week with the JX35; it was really that easy. The system had no trouble reading media files or navigating the folder hierarchy. Track data is displayed if it's available, which is nice, since some of the vehicles we've reviewed only convey file names.

With that said, traversing folders is somewhat of a pain. The control knob works well for navigation, unless you simply want to scroll through the folder list. As it turns out, the Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System likes to automatically start playing music as soon as a folder is highlighted.

Imagine jamming along to some Kanye. Once Clique is over, you want to search for something else. So, you start browsing other folders, only to have each new one you navigate through start playing back. Maybe you have a passenger in the car who shouldn't be hearing the extent of your collection. This is the first time we've encountered an infotainment system behave like this, and we're not quite sure why anyone would want it to. It makes a lot more sense to require that the driver confirm his or her selection.

Steering Wheel Controls

Infiniti puts the most typically-used controls within finger's reach on the steering wheel. You'll find up and down toggle buttons that mimic the control knob's operation, along with an Enter button to confirm item selection. A separate return key goes back to the previous menu. Volume control, Source, voice command, and phone buttons are available, too.

  • sscultima
    Oddly enough, with all the hype over this vehicle, I work for roadside assistance, and just myself alone i have had at least 3 dispatch's for this vehicle due to breakdowns and 1 was for an accident.

    so i wonder really how many issues or accidents have happen all over the world so far for this vehicle
    Reply
  • xpeh
    Wow, that's a sexy looking vehicle!
    Reply
  • blackcat357
    "The audible warning does get annoying. However, if you need a feature like BSW to make safe lane changes, then the nag is probably appropriate." That was my favorite quote in the whole article. Personally i don't like or want any of these features. I love driving. If i stand on the brake pedal i want to lock them up. If i get road rage and want to push granny out of the fast lane i don't want my to tell me i cant.

    Call me crazy but i like driving. I think its fun actually. It seems to me taking control from the driver is the wrong solution. This and Gun control have the same solution Limit who can get them. Some people shouldn't have a license (we all know the stereotypical ditsy blonde girl) so take these cars back and give us back the 2010 Viper that had no driver "aides" (i view them the same way as the disease)

    Heres a solution. Make every one drive a standard transmission again. If your shifting your sure as hell not texting or reading facebook. Make the driver pay attention dont give them an excuse not too, which seems to be what this car is doing.
    OH i didn't wreck, im a good driver my car made the mistake! i was sleeping.
    Reply
  • tuanies
    I'm the author of the article.

    I agree with you blackcat357. I find the technology very fascinating and enjoy testing it, but I myself enjoy driving. I do find the full-range adaptive cruise control awesome. But at the other end of the spectrum is people who hate driving that are unattentive, I almost had a Chrysler Aspen plow into me on Saturday while driving the minivan. I'm not kidding, the guy tried to change into my lane while I was in view of all his mirrors, without signaling. People like that need these technologies to keep them from plowing into me.

    But luckily there are still cars for people like us that enjoy driving, Mazda has a complete lineup and there's the Scion FRS and Subaru BRZ. Its a good time for cars IMO.

    I miss having a manual though, need to eventually swap one into my BMW wagon.

    @sscultima that's very funny. I wonder how much it costs to repair when one of those systems fail. I'd hate to see the bill. I honestly wonder how many people think its the holy grail of laziness and just plow into someone else anyways and try to blame the car.
    Reply
  • blackcat357
    Its not that i inherently have a problem with these technologies. Its this one simple question that gets me.

    How long will it be until the Government makes all these "aides" MANDATORY

    Think Will Smith in I ROBOT. Cars drive themselves and manual mode is frowned upon if not actually illegal.
    Reply
  • tuanies
    Yea, I'm not fond of the NHTSA trying to make back-up cameras mandatory either. I find them a nicety, not a necessity especially with how much cars cost nowadays. Most importantly they won't prevent anything if the person behind the wheel is a moron and won't use it, ie the lady that backed over her daughter because she heard the door close and assumed her daughter was in the car and didn't bother turning her head to make sure the kids were all in and buckled up. She still managed to back over and kill her child despite having the back-up proximity sensors on her Escalade.

    You can't govern idiots or try to force technology on them.
    Reply
  • kevinherring
    $3/gallon? $3/gallon???? My heart bleeds for you

    What I wouldn't give for $3/gallon. Just over $9/gallon here in blighty. 1992 was the last time we had such prices. :-)
    Reply
  • mansfield
    kevinherring$3/gallon? $3/gallon???? My heart bleeds for youWhat I wouldn't give for $3/gallon. Just over $9/gallon here in blighty. 1992 was the last time we had such prices. :-)$9 USD? I think you should do a conversion. and in florida where I live it's around $4 a gallon
    Reply
  • MU_Engineer
    Anything that takes the driver's eyes away from the path of the vehicle, their attention away from driving, and results in an unpredictable response from the vehicle is a very bad, very unsafe thing to have in a vehicle. The backup cameras are one such thing as you must be looking forward to use them, while the vehicle is traveling in reverse. That is a great recipe to back right into the path of another vehicle that was outside of the limited camera range/angle. All of the "infotainment" stuff is another distraction in a lot of cases- you are fiddling with it and not keeping your eyes on the road in most cases. The absolute worst is the "eco pedal" here. Pushing the throttle and getting a variable response dependent on the whims of the computer is very dangerous. You don't get enough warning in emergency situations to think about "oh, I need to go through the vehicle menu to disable the Eco Pedal, and then I can try to avoid hitting that guy who merged into my lane going 30 under the limit while not being hit by oncoming traffic." A fully self-driving car would be even worse as you would be paying NO attention in most cases to the driving. If it has a hiccup, you will crash before you even know what happened.
    Reply
  • tuanies
    10448613 said:
    Anything that takes the driver's eyes away from the path of the vehicle, their attention away from driving, and results in an unpredictable response from the vehicle is a very bad, very unsafe thing to have in a vehicle. The backup cameras are one such thing as you must be looking forward to use them, while the vehicle is traveling in reverse. That is a great recipe to back right into the path of another vehicle that was outside of the limited camera range/angle. All of the "infotainment" stuff is another distraction in a lot of cases- you are fiddling with it and not keeping your eyes on the road in most cases. The absolute worst is the "eco pedal" here. Pushing the throttle and getting a variable response dependent on the whims of the computer is very dangerous. You don't get enough warning in emergency situations to think about "oh, I need to go through the vehicle menu to disable the Eco Pedal, and then I can try to avoid hitting that guy who merged into my lane going 30 under the limit while not being hit by oncoming traffic." A fully self-driving car would be even worse as you would be paying NO attention in most cases to the driving. If it has a hiccup, you will crash before you even know what happened.

    I didn't even think about the Eco pedal in that way, the response isn't variable, it just provides active resistance again trying to floor it, but that might be an issue when you need to in emergency situations. However, given how terrible drivers on the road are, they usually slam on the brakes to make situations worse at times. But in the argument for the car, it would slow down automatically when the guy merging at 30MPH pulls out :).

    10448612 said:
    $9 USD? I think you should do a conversion. and in florida where I live it's around $4 a gallon

    Its around $3.60 or so for regular in WA, but we have higher taxes but still nowhere near the levels in Europe, but at least you guys get awesome tiny fuel efficient diesel cars :)
    Reply