New 'infotainment' tech in vehicles increases distracted driving risk

06 October, 2017, 00:47 | Author: Martin Tyler
  • The dashboard based systems allow drivers to text use the radio make phone calls or operate a satellite navigation system

Marshall Doney, AAA's President and CEO said, "Drivers want technology that is safe and easy to use", but several features in the infotainment system can be complex and frustrate the driver.

Researchers developed an advanced rating scale that measured both the visual and mental demand and the time it took to complete a task using each vehicle's infotainment system.

Technology options on many new cars can be overwhelming, and sophisticated infotainment systems also create increased distractions for drivers, according to a new study.

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The study found drivers using voice-based and touch screen features were distracted for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks such sending a text or programming navigation.

Drivers taking their eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles their chances of a crash, AAA said. In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a set of voluntary safety guidelines advising automakers to block access to tasks when vehicles are not parked. When driving at 25 miles per hour, a driver can travel the length of four football fields during the same amount of time.

"We strongly urge drivers to avoid the temptation of engaging with technology that distracts them from the mentally-demanding job of driving", said RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams.

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According to a study by the American Automobile Association Foundation, usually the driver of a vehicle moving at the speed of 25 miles per hour takes somewhere around 40 seconds to program the navigation system of the auto. However, that may be more than offset by infotainment systems, according to new research. Programming navigation while driving was available in 12 of the 30 vehicle systems tested.

Toyota had three vehicles coming in with "low" rankings, including the Camry SE, Corolla SE and the Toyota Sienna XLE. However, 24% feel that the technology now in the auto is enough to work perfectly and do not need any advance technology.

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