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Front-Seat TV Unwelcome in US Auto Market

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Mydesign
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Driver attention
Mydesign   5/3/2013 12:26:11 AM
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"a two-second loss of eye contact with the road is the absolute maximum. That's why we are 180 degrees away from the idea that a driver might be watching television."

Charles, exactly. Anything which can divert the attention of drivers is dangerous. In my country, even using mobile phone, while driving is also punishable. But they can use hands- free.

TJ McDermott
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There IS a place for front-seat TV
TJ McDermott   5/2/2013 10:46:38 PM
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That place is in an autonomous vehicle such as what Google is testing in CA and NV.

There IS going to be legislation to prevent it in this country.  If phones are out, front-seat TV is definitely out.

However, I hope we've elected legislators smart enough to know there are always exceptions to a rule and plan for autonomous vehicles when they write the law.

I'd love to have the 40 minutes each way each day that is consumed by driving.

Charles Murray
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Re: I would be inclined to agree
Charles Murray   5/2/2013 7:17:00 PM
Liz, I could easily see people using this feature, even when they may not intend to. If I'm driving along and I want to watch the World Series, the temptation might be too great to turn it on, and just to watch it "while I'm stuck in traffic." As you say, it's just a foolish idea.

Charles Murray
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Re: If consumers want it, they'll, get it
Charles Murray   5/2/2013 7:13:07 PM
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You're right, Rob. There will always be a a company willing to provide this, no matter how dangerous the technology is. This is such a new phenomenon that there are no specific federal laws covering it, but there might be state laws and some local laws might be written broadly enough to cover various types of electronic distractions. Let's hope regulators start paying attention to this.

Rob Spiegel
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If consumers want it, they'll, get it
Rob Spiegel   5/2/2013 11:10:51 AM
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If drivers want front-seat TV, there will be a company to provide it. It's just a matter of time. Already, I'm tired of watching bad driving due to phone distraction -- the swerving, the spaced-out driver when the light turns green, and the drivers going 20 in a 40. Front-seat TV wilkl make the roads even more fun.

NadineJ
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Re: I would be inclined to agree
NadineJ   5/2/2013 11:07:56 AM
Safety expectations are different but I certainly wouldn't put one country above another.

From my experience driving in Asia (car and motorcycle), it's very safe if you use common sense.  The rules of the road aren't much different.  What is different is the culture.  Driving in many parts of Asia is like being in a school of fish. When the painted four lanes on the road aren't enough, somehow, five orderly lanes just happen and traffic moves.  Nothing like this could occur in the US or Europe.  Our driving, much like our culture, is more ego driven.

We also don't have the mind numbing traffic jams that move at less than 3 mph and last hours.  Drivers, very likely, are watching something on a smartphone during that. 

I do agree that this would not be safe in the US because we're not as good drivers.

The bigger question I have is why is it being considered?  What need is this filling?

Elizabeth M
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Re: I would be inclined to agree
Elizabeth M   5/2/2013 9:12:35 AM
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Yes, naperlou, I didn't want to say anything about the standard of safety in Asia, but you're right, different cultures have different standards in this respect! That's fine for them, but that's no reason to slack off on automobile and driver safety in countries where there it is of the utmost concern.

naperlou
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Re: I would be inclined to agree
naperlou   5/2/2013 9:07:20 AM
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Chuck, I agree with Elizabeth, as I expect you do.  I was going to mention the situation with the navigation system if you hadn't.  I first saw this while in Germany.  I was in a fancy car that had an early built-in one.  We were going to change destination based on a phone call one of us received.  The driver had to pull over to do this.  I thought at the time, what silliness.  That would never be my thought today. 

Having TV in the front seat is going in the wrong direction.  I have seen the back seat screens act as a distraction for the driver in a following car.  Frankly, the attitude toward safety in Asia is not as strong as it is in Europe and the US.  We should continue to make this a priority.

Elizabeth M
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I would be inclined to agree
Elizabeth M   5/2/2013 8:54:49 AM
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I think there are already too many distractions for drivers and a TV service in the front seat seems like quite a foolish idea. I don't know enough about the accident rates in markets where this is available, but I can't imagine it does anything to help prevent them. And I think there should be more of that and less distraction considering how dangerous the roads already are!

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