David Champion, senior director of automotive testing for Consumers Union, is worried about the proliferation of iPods in vehicles. If automakers want to integrate iPod connectors into their car, then there should be a simple way for users to communicate with those iPods, he argues.
“iPods are great,” Champion says. “But we’re going to have to deal with the driver distraction issues.”
Champion says he’s encouraged by recent developments, such as the cooperative Microsoft-Ford effort known as Sync, which serves as a host to the iPod and other mobile media devices.
“We think the Ford Sync system works well in terms of voice recognition,” Champion says. “Voice recognition is going to be critical in allowing consumers to use complicated systems.”
Champion adds that he worries about the presence of iPods in vehicles without good voice recognition. “The problem I have is a kid driving along with his iPod in his hand,” he says. “He’s got 20,000 songs on there, and he’s trying to find the one he wants. That’s a huge driver distraction issue.”