U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is reportedly telling auto executives that he’s unhappy with the trend of putting more electronic gadgetry into the cockpits of new vehicles.
“There’s absolutely no reason for any person to download their Facebook into the car,” said LaHood in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “It’s not necessary.”
LaHood and NHTSA have the power to curb the proliferation of infotainment technology in the car if they can demonstrate a threat to safety, the newspaper said.
General Motors’ compact Chevrolet Cruze is said to be promoting its youthful image with an ad that highlights a Facebook update feature, delivered by voice through GM’s OnStar communication system. The system is reportedly in beta test right now.
Automakers are expected to take pains to incorporate such new technologies in a way that would enable drivers to manage the flow of information and minimize driving distractions. If they are not successful in doing so, LaHood hints that the government could step in.