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*Smart cars* may turn out to be unsafe

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes | about 7 months ago


Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "The vehicles that we drive are getting more and more *smart*, as more and more gadgets have been installed into it.

But as more and more gadgets are on board, they offer the driver more and more things to look at, and thus, more and more drivers are being distracted.

At the recent "Connected Car Expo" which was held in Los Angeles, panelists brought out the issues of the increased distractions faced by drivers of the *smart cars*.

For example, researchers led by Bruce Mehler at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusett, revealed that drivers using voice command interfaces to control in-car navigation systems or USB-connected music devices can end up spending longer with their eyes off the road than those using conventional systems.

Voice activated systems in newer radio systems would seem to offer an advantage over older car radios of keeping the drivers eyes on the road. (Indeed, tuning an older radio was used as a baseline task in these tests.) But according to Mehler, problems arise when the system needs clarification of what the driver wants, such as when inputting an address into a navigation system."

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