Thursday, January 7, 2010

Distracted drivers? You ain't seen nothin' yet!

The annual Consumer Electronics Show is underway in Vegas. It's a good place to track future trends.

Bob T brought this article to my attention from the NY Times web page: "Despite Risks, Internet Creeps Onto Car Dashboards."

In the near future, not only will drivers be holding their hot Starbucks in one hand and yammerin' on the phone... they can also Google as they drive! New car-based "infotainment systems" will have console-mounted 10-inch screens, where the driver can display hi-def videos, 3-D maps, and Web pages.

Some of the functions will be disabled while the car is in motion, apparently. Safety first! (Yeah, right!) The Audi's screen will display a message: "Please only use the online services when traffic conditions allow you to do so safely."

Yeah, drivers have such good judgment! The article points out that way back in 2003, motorists distracted only by their cellphones caused 2600 fatal accidents and 570,000 injury accidents. Wait 'til they're carrying on a conversation and looking at a console-mounted screen, at 75 mph!

As I've said before... responsibility! If motorists were only putting themselves, and perhaps their passengers, in mortal danger, I'd be totally in favor of giving them the choice. Unfortunately, they just as frequently involve bystanders as "collateral damage," and I am not OK with that!

UPDATE 1/8: "CES: Ford unveils Tweeting car"

"... the company will produce a range of vehicles which can read motorist's twitter messages to them as they drive down the street. Drivers may even be able to Tweet replies as the cars will feature voice recognition technology. But composing Tweets will not be possible on the first models, due out in the US later this year, because of safety fears."

(I must be getting old - having "safety fears" means you're getting old... right?)

1 comment:

bob t said...

You're not getting older, just wiser.