@Twitter: “Running late, no time for coffee #drivingtowork”

These days everybody has a cell phone…Not just any cell phone, most of us have iPhones, Droids and dare I say it…Blackberries. All of these devices have texting, tweeting and facebooking capabilities. Due to this “on-the-go” potential, more and more users are doing these things while driving. Since then, the number of car accidents has gone up substantially. In 2011, 23% of auto collisions involved cell phone distractions, in other words, that’s 1.3 million crashes. http://www.textinganddrivingsafety.com/texting-and-driving-stats/

Automakers believe that voice control is the solution that will permit drivers to safely text, tweet and update their Facebook pages to inform the world of the amazing fact that they are in the act of driving to work.  The problem with the notion of voice control as a cure for distraction is that it still is a distraction.

MIT researchers are working with Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center to find the answer to the issue. Their goal is to measure the workload involved in the operation of a voice-command system.

The researchers equipped a car with cameras to monitor drivers’ eyes as they watch the road. Test subjects are also wired up with a heart-rate monitor and an instrument that measures galvanic skin response (like a lie detector) to assess their stress levels. The team will study the drivers while they perform physical controls and voice controls. This would allow them to predict the deterioration in driving ability that will result. http://bottomline.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/26/13967296-some-day-voice-control-may-cut-drivers-gizmo-distractions


The issue that arises is how necessary are these studies? Do we really want to include something in a vehicle that allows for these types of capabilities?


10 thoughts on “@Twitter: “Running late, no time for coffee #drivingtowork”

  1. I definitely don’t think that these are features that we should want to see in new cars. Bluetooth was supposed to be a solution for this issue, but given the stats you’ve provided, the headsets are either not being used or don’t work. While the study may provide insight into what type of feature car manufactures could provide in the near future, I don’t think it means that people will actually use it. Additionally, it seems that this is also just another way to differentiate one car from another.

  2. I agree, these features are not needed on new cars. Even with voice recognition, people will still be too distracted with reading their homepage, making sure their post made it up, and god forbid someone “likes” the post then the person must leave another comment. While on the road people need to be completely focused on driving. On the concept of differentiating cars with these feature, this is another way to pull people into the use of social media and the consumption of smartphones.

  3. I think that there are two issues that you have brought up with these articles that you have found, one dealing with the extent we are willing to go to allow people to access mobile devices while they are driving, the second addressing whether these new technologies are indeed necessary. In my opinion, I feel like driving a vehicle has enough distractions in the first place before you add in using a mobile device while trying to focus on the road as well as other drivers. Although these new technologies make using mobile devices less of a distraction, they are still a distraction no matter what way you look at it. The second issue brought up is the necessity of these new technologies, although they may help drivers with hands free technology, I believe the best solution would be to wait to use your phone while you are not behind the wheel of 3000 pound wrecking ball.

  4. I don’t think anyone can drive safely while on the phone. It is distracting and takes away the driver’s focus and attention on something that can be dealt with later, when not driving. With voice recognition installed in a car, it will make the driver want to stay active socially and interact with the world even more.

  5. I believe implementing these new features in cars will only further perpetrate their uses instead of curbing them (no pun intended). My opinion is that most people have a hard enough time driving a vehicle safely without any of the modern day distractions, much less with all these unnecessary new add-ons. Other than technology that is used to increase safety (OnStar), I feel there is no need for things like Facebook while driving. Driving is a task that not only endangers the individual but also anyone else on the road, and multitasking while doing so is just as irresponsible as drinking and driving. In conclusion I disagree with the automakers stance on the issue and believe no matter how automated they make it, people will still not be able to devote enough attention to driving even if it is completely hands free.

  6. All these new technology may seem efficient and safe, but it seems that they are just adding more distraction to the already distracted driver. The solution is not in the car itself, but in the drivers themselves. I feel as if the more technology the world are introduced to, the more problems it creates along with it. We have the cellphones, which led to texting and driving; we have Twitter, which led to twitting and driving. Every driver should have some self control over when they should or should not use the phone especially when driving. What if this new idea they are working on will just add more distraction to the already easily distracted driver?

  7. I don’t feel that there is a solution to people not texting, tweeting, posting statues on Facebook while driving. That is something drivers need to take full responsibility and control of. As a result, voice command will not be a solution to the problem. Maybe there needs to be “schooling” for those who are receiving their license and people who have their driver license to attend to. There can be videos, stories, etc. that can be shown exemplifying the seriousness of this act.

  8. These new features of voice control will only encourage drivers to update their social networks on their phone. I do not think this is safe, multi tasking in the car is dangerous and the driver can easily be distracted. Maybe if there was a penalty that can be implemented, drivers would be less likely to do it. This all depends on the choice of the driver themselves and are responsible for their own actions. Automakers should reconsider on this voice system and think about the safety of the drivers first.

  9. This made me think about when I was in Thailand with my sister. She was always chatted, update her profile while driving. However, I don’t think that this feature is necessary! Driving safely is something that the drivers should beware of. It is like if student don’t want to study, hey should not get any help from others.

  10. I find this post very interesting because I can clearly see both sides of the argument. On one side, I know that having voice control installed in cars is just perpetuating the problem of having distracted drivers on the road. On the other hand, it is difficult to just make people stop texting/tweeting while they are driving so it is better to do it in a safe manner instead of using their phones. This problem will only worsen as time goes on and technology improves itself.

    I’m actually in a consumer culture class where we talked about driving while distracted the other week. Our professor made us watch a video he took while he was in someone’s car when he was visiting Taiwan. The person had a tv screen built into their dashboard where we would commonly find a gps or something like that. The driver explained that this is very common in Taiwan and allows people to watch about ten different channels from a satellite signal while driving. To us this may seem like an even bigger distraction than texting or listening to music, but my professor made sure we knew that it would only be a short time before we saw this trend grow in the U.S. as well. It’s very scary to think that soon it may be difficult for drivers to put all their attention on the roads at all.

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