Auto Safety Experts Concerned About CarPlay and Distracted Driving

Earlier this week, Apple announced its new CarPlay technology, which opens the door for easier hands-free calling, text messaging and navigation while driving. Consumers may be enthusiastic about this in-car technology, but auto safety experts are concerned about its contribution to distracted driving, reports CNN Money.

"The idea that people want to be on their phones, and therefore let's give them a way to do that -- that's not putting safety first, that's putting convenience and the desire to be in touch first," said Bruce Hamilton, manager of research and communications at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety."

Siri may allow for hands- and eyes-free interaction with a phone, but experts argue it still contributes to "cognitive distraction," which moves a driver's attention away from their driving and onto their phone. Recent studies have shown that the voice-to-text features included in personal assistant software such as Siri carry an "extensive risk" of distracted driving and have the potential to double driver reaction times.

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Apple is aware of these distracted driving concerns and notes in a press release that Siri minimizes distraction by allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road.

“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction."

Apple's CarPlay technology is similar to existing in-dash smartphone systems in terms of driver attention, but these concerns over distracted driving are getting renewed attention because of Apple's high-profile launch.

Apple's CarPlay will be available as an update to iOS 7 for iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5 owners. It will debut in 2014 models from major automobile manufacturers such as Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai and others.

Related Roundup: CarPlay

Top Rated Comments

William Gates Avatar
132 months ago
Ford implements SYNC by Microsoft and Ford MyTouch, and nothing from the safety boards get said. Ford says they're going to switch to QNX and nothing from the safety boards gets said. We have radios and climate control and GPS and nothing gets said. Some car manufacturers get on board with Android via Mirralink (sp) and nothing gets said. Google lobbies to allow drivers to wear google glass while driving, and hardly anything gets said.

Apple takes tech that exists in vehicles already and makes it easier/simpler and all of a sudden the safety boards are speaking out against it.

Makes sense.
Score: 65 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sandstorm Avatar
132 months ago
So maybe they want to make talking to your passengers illegal also? :mad:
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
indychris Avatar
132 months ago
I have a hard time seeing how Carplay will be any more distracting than a Garmin, or radio knobs or station buttons, etc. Assuming that you won't be able to watch youtube videos or text via the interface, it likely won't create any additional hazard, and in fact may keep people's posture such that at least they might be able to detect movement in their periphery.

Personally, I welcome the technology.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dwhittington Avatar
132 months ago
Then fix the technology in the rest of the vehicle.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BJMRamage Avatar
132 months ago
we need to also remove heating and cooling knobs, radios and anything else.

Yes, distractions but distractions that are "in-dash" and thus closer to the windshield...whereas sneaking a look on a phone is more distracting and not always near the windshield view because in some cases it is illegal.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GQB Avatar
132 months ago
I am SO incredibly tired of people who whine that any reasonable concerns and discussions about safety constitute some tyrannical infringement on our unrestricted liberties.

Knobs and sliders can be operated by touch without taking your eyes off of the road. You all know that .
Phone conversations are different than conversations with someone in the car simply because a person in the car is sharing the same space/reality as you and will likely not demand your conscious attention if road conditions indicate.

Go to a funeral of a bicyclist killed because someone was fishing for a cd or tuning a radio. All existing capabilities. You really want to throw the door open to dozens of other distractions without at least thinking about it?

Everything's on the table when it comes to safety.
Help or shut up.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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