The term retrofit (engl. for retrofitting, retrofitting, retrofitting) is interpreted as a term for the modernization or expansion of existing systems and equipment. Often these are older and no longer produced components. In this country, the automotive industry is sometimes referred to as an "action". If you go into the field of software development, then "backports" are a similar approach. But let's stick with the vehicles. For existing systems, a retrofit can be more effective than a complete replacement with a new part. A concrete example? Do we have!
retrofit modern technology
Many drivers have a problem, they bought an expensive car years ago, but the technology is now out of date. We take our VW Phaeton from 2010. It cost well over 100.000 euros and was ordered with every conceivable equipment at the time. But especially from technical aspect it was a long time ago. Many features of newer cars, such as streaming music via Bluetooth, navigation maps including the current traffic situation or intelligent voice control, were either not available for the Phaeton from 2010 and the built-in RNS 810, or only from a current perspective insufficient present.
In the meantime there are various solutions for this problem, which are Retrofit is called. With this type of tuning, old vehicles are converted to modern technology by integrating the new systems into the existing technology. Quite like one Restomod. In a vintage car, for example, a modern engine is used, a current one landing gear or a modern infotainment installed. When retrofitting, however, the current system not removed, rather upgraded.
For example using a black box system!
For many vehicles there are more or less extensive black box systems from various providers that take the outdated infotainment, for example our VW Phaeton from 2010, into an all-rounder Apple CarPlay or Android-Auto & Co. do. Often you then have a compatible multimedia vehicle as if it were fresh from the factory. In addition, the installation of such a box is often (not always) extremely easy. In many cases, it is simply installed between the car's data network (CAN bus) and the navigation computer using a Ypsilon cable set. Such a system improves, however NOT the resolution of the built-in display in the vehicle.
more or less effective depending on the vehicle
The problem with such solutions, however, is often the “superimposed” integration. Often it is not real integration possible in the system, but only a new layer is placed on top. Depending on the car, it can then happen that many logical functions such as the radio during navigation or the playback stop after the engine has been switched off get lost. If that is the case, then the variant should only be seen as a half-solution that brings new possibilities, but also convenience worsen can. So it can be that you are always between the black box and the factory infotainment functions to switch got to. However, you have to do that with current Carplay & Co. versions too. And sometimes you even have to Additional display be installed in the factory infotainment. In this case, for example, a small circuit board has to be installed between the board and the display in order to be able to operate the system. Then it gets a lot more complicated. But back to such a black box.
The features of such a black box:
With a good black box, the smartphone can be connected to the on-board system via WLAN or a simple USB cable and the control elements of the vehicle, such as the steering wheel buttons, any central rotary selector switch or voice control can be operated. In addition, numerous apps can be controlled via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto or shown directly on the vehicle's display. But it all depends on the Vehicle and from the black box systemthat you have chosen.
How high are the costs?
The said black boxes are now available from numerous manufacturers and for a wide variety of car brands and models. For a VW Phaeton from 2010, which has the RNS 810 infotainment system, there is this, for example Ampire LDS Interface from the provider Ampire at a price of almost 900 euros. The installation, which takes about 3 to 5 hours depending on the workshop, costs another 200 to 400 euros. There is the installation of the optionally available interface for a Backup camera but included. With the modern infotainment and the parking camera, the Phaeton will be state-of-the-art again for the next few years, but the well over 1.000 euros are not a stick.
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