A haptic feedback technology from Continental Automotive provides a pulse signal to dashboard buttons, thus enabling drivers to feel the controls and focus on the road ahead. (Source: Continental Automotive North America)
Many of the solutions are very distracting themsleves. HUDs are very cool but the driver is still looking at the display, not the car in front. It's likely that an accident will be mitigated but not avoided altogether.
Anecdotally, I spent yesterday media free--as I do during every majour election. No radio, no tv, etc. It was the best driving experience I've had in a long time. Instead of being isolated in my media box and separated from everyone around me, I paid attention. No near misses. I was never cut off. And, I avoided traffic jams and hazards like a ninja.
Paying attention is the best solution. It's interesting how we use technology to solve the problems that our mis-use of technology creates. Ford's approach (Driving Skills for Life) is definitely a good model.
Chuck, if we are going to allow all these personal devices to be used in cars then the only real solution will lie with technologies, including those you have in the slide show. Two of the most promising to me are haptics and HUD. The layout of insgtruments in cars is not very optimal. A study of aircraft and race cars may be useful in this regard.
Great slideshow, Chuck. I recently rode with my daughter's boyfriend to see my daughter's dance recital. He was driving a 2011 truck (can't remember what make). His entertainment system was run entirely by voice. He could announce a radio station or call for a specific song from a specific band from his digital music collection. He could also make a phone call initiated by voice. At all times he had both hands on the wheel and his eyes on the road. Very impressive, very safe.
I've got to agree with Nadine about distractions for drivers. It was a lot easier to focus on the road, the other drivers and various external moving objects like kids and dogs--or deer and pedestrians where I live--before all those beeping and flashing devices inhabited the car's interior. I basically don't have any in my car for that reason.
It's obvious, driverless cars is the only way to go. To truly remove the issues with distracted drivers, we must remove the drivers.
But in the meantime, I am liking the head-up display and voice recognition options. The only free HMI in voice in these cases. However, an intuitive interface is needed first. Otherwise, it's just another device to learn all the shortcuts on.
The "innovation" in the first slide has been around for a couple of decades, at least in the stick-on version. I'm surprised it's taken so long to integrate these blind spot mirrors into the side-view mirrors.
They say HUD cuts the time required to shift your eyesight from the road to the instrument panel by about 0.4 seconds, naperlou. If you're going 60 mph, that translates to about 35 feet. So, yes, I agree, HUD has value.
Advances in voice recognition are amazing, Rob. Ten years ago, VR systems only understood a few words from a very small menu. Now, they can run radios, entertainment systems, HVAC systems and mobile phones. They've come a long way.
Couldn't agree more with you. My car doesn't have a radio and I completely agree. Same when I ride my bike (either motorcycle or bicycle).
The other alternative I have is a bit unorthodox, but it would work; make the cars less safe! If you take out the safety devices from the car, people will think twice about being distracted because there is no cushion of safety. Too many people that I know are very flippant about driving because they are not worried of getting into an accident because chances are good that they will not get hurt in an accident and that insurance will pay for a new car. So the consequences are very minimal for bad driving.
Tesla Motors’ $35,000, 200-mile electric car may not revolutionize the auto industry by itself, but it could serve as a starting point for a long, steady climb to a day when half of the world’s vehicles will be plug-ins.
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