New cars increasingly crammed with distracting technology

WASHINGTON (AP) — The infotainment know-how that automakers are cramming into the dashboard of latest automobiles is making drivers take their eyes off the street and palms off the wheel for dangerously lengthy durations of time, an AAA research says.

The research launched Thursday is the newest by College of Utah professor David Strayer, who has been analyzing the impression of infotainment methods on security for AAA’s Basis for Visitors Security since 2013. Previous research additionally recognized issues, however Strayer stated the “explosion of know-how” has made issues worse.

Automakers now embrace extra infotainment choices to permit drivers to make use of social media, e-mail and textual content. The know-how can also be turning into extra difficult to make use of. Automobiles used to have a couple of buttons and knobs. Some automobiles now have as many as 50 buttons on the steering wheel and dashboard which might be multi-practical. There are contact screens, voice instructions, writing pads, heads-up shows on windshields and mirrors and three-D pc-generated photographs.

“It’s including increasingly more layers of complexity and knowledge at drivers’ fingertips with out typically contemplating whether or not it’s a good suggestion to place it at their fingertips,” Strayer stated. That complexity will increase the general period of time drivers spend making an attempt to make use of the methods.

The auto business says the brand new methods are higher options for drivers than cell phones and navigation units that weren’t designed for use whereas driving.

The car-built-in techniques “are designed for use within the driving surroundings and require driver consideration that’s similar to tuning the radio or adjusting local weather controls, which have all the time been thought-about baseline acceptable behaviors whereas driving,” stated Wade Newton, a spokesman for the Alliance of Vehicle Producers.

However Jake Nelson, AAA’s director for visitors security advocacy and analysis, stated drivers testing all 30 of the 2017 mannequin yr automobiles and lightweight vans took their eyes off the street and palms off the wheel whereas utilizing infotainment techniques. The check drivers used voice instructions, contact screens and different interactive applied sciences to make calls, ship texts, tune the radio or program navigation all whereas driving.

Clearly automakers haven’t labored arduous sufficient to make the methods fast and straightforward to make use of, Nelson stated. Researchers rated 23 of the 30 automobiles “very excessive” or “excessive” when it comes to the eye they demanded from drivers. Seven have been rated “average.” None required a low…

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