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.
Driving down the road and seeing the person in the car to the right talking on a cell phone and the person on the left busy texting away with both hands. I am sometimes amazed that there are not more accidents on the road. Additional distractions as a programmed in option do seem like a bit much.
I'm not sure why the car manufactuers are making what I would call "active entertainment" systems available to the drivers. The only thing I can think of is that they believe that an integrated voice system is safer than fumbling with a smart phone. However, since it is integrated, more people will probably use it. Then again, its probably a simple case of "follow the money" and the car manufactures figure they can get a piece of communication system fee.
I agree there is no reason to be doing "Facebook in the car," or a lot of the interactive communications that goes on while driving. Voice-activated systems, at least the ones that I have been privvy to, are sometimes even more distracting than stealing a quick peak on your smart device or shooting off a short text while driving (call me guilty, okay). The bottom line is all of these options spell trouble for safety on the roads. And with the next generation already tied to their devices, we need to figure out some way to safely cut the cord.
If you’re designing a handheld device or industrial machine that will employ a user interface, then you’ll want to check out the upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center course, "Engineering Principles Behind Advanced User Interface Technologies.”
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.