Auto Makers Continue to Develop In-Car Internet Technology
Despite recommendations put forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation, car makers are continuing to develop technology to enable drivers to use internet services inside of their vehicles. The auto industry claims that drivers are going to use hand-held devices for internet services anyway, so they might as well develop technology for use in vehicles that is as safe as possible.Internet on the Road
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, “We don’t have to choose between safety and technology, but while these devices may offer consumers new tools and features, automakers have a responsibility to ensure they don’t divert a driver’s attention.” Using electronic devices while driving is dangerous because they take a driver’s eyes and attention from what is happening on the road. LaHood is pushing for auto manufacturers to eliminate any in-car technology that would take a driver’s eyes off of the road for more than two seconds.
Those in the car industry, however, say it’s important to develop new ways of using the internet while driving, because the ways people access the internet while driving now–through cell phones, smart phones, and lap tops computers–are extremely dangerous. Wade Newton, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, argues that since people are going to use this technology no matter what, it is up to car manufacturers to make it safer. “They’re going to do those things whether it’s through the vehicle or through a handheld device that they bring with them in the car,” Newton said. “And those are devices that were never designed to be used while in an auto.” Members of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers include BMW and Volkswagen.
Special interest groups like FocusDriven want stricter penalties for distracted drivers. Its Executive Director Rob Reynolds describes our desire to use electronic devices in the car as “ravenous.” However, the guidelines LaHood implemented are only voluntary. It looks like, at this time, the government is hoping car makers will agree on their own to produce less opportunities for distracted driving in vehicles. Until then, distracted driving remains a huge danger; nearly 10% of traffic deaths in the U.S. in 2010 were the result of distracted driving.
Ty Wilson is a Savannah distracted driving lawyer who offers free information on his website. Visit tywilsonlaw.com to read his many articles, watch his videos, and to order his FREE books BEFORE hiring a lawyer, talking to an insurance adjuster, or signing any forms.
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