Friday, June 1, 2012

Car Connectivity

New cars such as the Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX, and the Audi A6 enable passengers to connect to the Internet from the front seat. These Online connections over Wi-Fi or 3G networks allow motorists to enjoy streaming video, audio, spoken text messaging, and current traffic information. We typically view tech advancements as a positive. But connectivity in the car begs a major question: Is this a good thing?

Challenges of the Connected Car

Drivers get distracted and this can cause accidents. In fact, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 80 percent of all accidents involve driver inattention within 3 seconds of the impact. So, this being true, imagine how distracted the driver would be if there is an amusing YouTube video playing on an in-car screen.

Does Tech Distract Drivers?

Anything which takes a driver’s attention from the road may be a hazard. Whether it’s texting, making calls, or just having a companion in the car. Many states have made it illegal to text while driving because of this. This is the key reason why the news that cars are coming out with 3G connections doesn’t make everyone jump for joy.

Browsing the Web Inside Your Car

Soon motorists will be able to receive Facebook updates and browse the web on in-car navigation screens. We may even see the coming of short-range communication allowing drivers who are sharing the road to communicate with each other.

Once again, this would normally be considered a positive advancement of technology. The possible negative impacts, though—an increase in the quantity of unfocused drivers on the road—do give pause. It is important for drivers to realize these tech goodies are nice features. However, it’s equally important for them to remain focused on the road, no matter how badly they wish to sneak a peek at the video streaming into their vehicles.


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