Friday, January 8, 2010

Always on

In the midst of all the discussion around the dangers of multitasking whilst driving, the latest must-have car technology is bigger dashboard screens with internet connection allowing you to browse the net, play music, watch films and navigate. An article in the New York Times, Driven to distraction (watch the video too), describes the latest in car gadgetry with impressive 10" screens right next to the steering wheel. Admittedly the videos and browser won't work unless the car is stationary but the distraction factor is potentially huge here.

The system can connect you to the net via your cellphone and is based around voice interaction to reduce the need for the dangerous distraction of pressing buttons. Cellphone dialling is voice activated as is the choice of music. However, even if the manufacturers insist that the new gadgets have been designed with safety in focus I can't help wondering if the distraction factor is going to increase dramatically. With all the technology available why not concentrate on designing a car that drives itself, automatically adjusting speed and keeping other cars at a safe distance? Then we can just sit back and concentrate on listening to our latest tweets or making Facebook updates.


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