Does more in-car technology battle with driver attention?

Does more in-car technology battle with driver attention?

According to research, approximately half of all accidents involving fatalities and serious injuries are thought to be caused by driver distraction and inattention.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Why does VNC Automotive think that modern car interiors could result in driver distraction?

    With more technologies being incorporated into car infotainment, connectivity expert VNC Automotive thinks that drivers might stray veer their focus away from the road to use these technologies.
  • How are carmakers being governed on how much their infotainment systems will be used by drivers?

    In order to receive a perfect score in the Euro NCAP Occupant Status Monitoring (OSM) category starting in 2023, vehicles must be equipped with direct driver monitoring. This system will issue alerts if a driver's focus deviates too far from the task of driving.
  • With more technology than ever before incorporated into automobiles, connectivity expert VNC Automotive thinks it's time to acknowledge that the interior of today's cars runs the risk of being just as distracting as the outside world.

    “Competition for driver attention has never been greater,” CEO of VNC Automotive Tom Blackie noted. “The roads are busier than ever, touchscreens dominate vehicle interiors, and we’re living increasingly connected lives. That means there are now many more opportunities for a driver’s focus to be elsewhere.”

    With the advent of Apple CarPlay- and Android Auto-compatible infotainment systems today, you can see where VNC is coming from. These phone-mirroring functions, as their names suggest, basically allow the occupant’s phone to be used through the car’s infotainment screen.

    Occupants — or the driver — can easily play music, use navigation apps, and even send messages and make phone calls while the vehicle is in motion.

    Subaru Ascent

    The more a driver can virtually use their phone while driving, the more likely his or her eyes will stray far from the road.

    Isn’t it ironic that, not long ago, prohibiting the use of mobile phones while driving was widely advocated? Now, drivers are free to do so with the phone-mirroring functions being developed by carmakers?

    Some carmakers and government bodies mitigate drivers from committing distracted driving. While many carmakers like Volvo feature phone-mirroring, the brand famous for its safety innovations is known to make several functions unavailable to the driver when the car senses that the driver is busy.

    Here in the Philippines, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is cracking down on distracted driving by implementing RA 10913, or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (ADDA). The agency stated that ADDA “prohibits a person who is driving a motor vehicle from holding and using mobile communication devices and electronic entertainment gadgets.”

    Ford F-150 Lightning Touchscreen Display

    Similar laws are implemented in other parts of the world, too. However, these anti-distracted driving rules seem to cover only the gadgets the driver might use in the vehicle. Are carmakers being governed on the degree they allow mobile phones to be connected and controlled within their infotainment systems?

    More research is needed, according to VNC, to determine the effects of many short looks that are usual while using a touchscreen, as opposed to the risks connected with prolonged glances away from the road, such as when using a mobile phone.

    VNC also added that the Euro New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) looks like it is laying down the law on distracted driving.

    In order to receive a perfect score in the Occupant Status Monitoring (OSM) category starting in 2023, vehicles must be equipped with direct driver monitoring. This system will issue alerts if a driver's focus deviates too far from the task of driving.

    Photos from Ford, Subaru, Volvo 

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