Tablet-Addicted Kids Spawn Car Trend


There’s a trend we’ve been starting to pick up on recently, and it’s more apparent than ever here at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit running through Sunday. Automotive manufacturers are starting to pick up on the fact that our kids, from toddlers to teens, are tablet addicted.

More 2015 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Expensive entertainment systems built into cars’ rear seats are being replaced by universal tablet holders like those in the Volvo XC90 and Kia Sedona. Rear-seat passengers can mount their own personal technology devises into these brackets, secured on the back of the front seats. Music, movies, games, apps and research for homework (as if) are just an arm’s length away.


This makes all the sense in the world considering how fluent our kids are on tablets, and how foreign and unintuitive many (read: all) manufacturer in-car entertainment systems are. Not only that, but personal-device technology is evolving more rapidly than Lady Gaga’s headwear, while our cars, on the other hand, are built to last longer and longer. Put a “high-tech and modern” entertainment system in a brand-new car, and in three year’s time, the one thing that will date that vehicle more than anything else will be the entertainment system. “What, this car plays DVDs? What are those?”

Other manufacturers, like Audi, are betting on their own branded tablet. Audi has an Android tablet in the new Q7 that is removable and works just like your standard tablet, but is built to tolerate extreme temperature fluctuations as well as crash impacts.

While the tablet trend has been here for some time it seems automakers are finally catching up. We’re wondering how long in-car systems will last. photos by Evan Sears

Photo of Kristin Varela
Former Senior Family Editor Kristin Varela blends work and family life by driving her three tween-teen girls every which way in test cars. Email Kristin Varela

Latest expert reviews