emfizz.com October 24, 2017

Complicated 'infotainment' auto increasing risk of road deaths

06 October 2017, 12:28 | Bernard Bryant

The dashboard based systems allow drivers to text use the radio make phone calls or operate a satellite navigation system

The dashboard based systems allow drivers to text use the radio make phone calls or operate a satellite navigation system

"I think that a substantial amount of the technology in the vehicle is too hard and too demanding to use".

Infotainment technology automakers are cramming into the dashboard of new vehicles is making drivers take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel for dangerously long periods of time, a study being released by AAA on October 5 says.

According to the AAA Study, infotainment systems on cars such as the Tesla Model S, Audi Q7 and Volvo XC60 require "very high" demand on the driver.

Drivers taking their eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles their chances of a crash, AAA said. "Consumers tell us they want more and more of these features in their vehicles", Krebs said, "but accidents are going up, and exactly for this reason - distracted driving". Strayer says the "explosion of technology" has made things worse.

Automakers now include more options to allow drivers to use social media, email and text. "I think it had 50 buttons, 50 multi-function buttons".

"It's adding more and more layers of complexity and information at drivers' fingertips without often considering whether it's a good idea to put it at their fingertips", Strayer said.

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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 want technology that is safe and easy to use, but numerous features added to infotainment systems today have resulted in overly complex and sometimes frustrating user experiences for drivers", said Marshall Doney, AAA's president and CEO.

Members of the auto industry, who strongly discourage texting and driving, was critical of the new research and methods.

New vehicle infotainment systems take drivers' eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel for potentially unsafe periods of time, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Clearly automakers haven't worked hard enough to make the systems quick and easy to use, Nelson said. Of these 30 vehicles, 23 were found to have "high" or "very high" levels of demand.

Joan Lowy is an Associated Press writer.

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