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Satellite navigation devices should be BANNED





  • Researchers looked at the dangers of using voice-controlled systems in the car
  • Many drivers assume that because the devices are legal they must be safe
  • But experts found they divert a driver's attention so much they are hazardous
  • Sat-nav is the riskiest of all, followed by texting, according to the experts 

By Colin Fernandez Science Correspondent For The Daily Mail

Published: 00:00 EDT, 5 October 2017 | Updated: 00:00 EDT, 5 October 2017

Voice-controlled systems allowing motorists to use their sat-nav or text at the wheel can be so distracting they should be banned, a new study advises.

Many drivers assume that because the devices are factory-fitted and legal to use they must be safe.

But, in fact, they divert a driver's attention so much that they are hazardous – with sat-nav the riskiest of all, followed by texting, the researchers found.

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Voice-controlled systems allowing motorists to use their sat-nav or text at the wheel can be so distracting they should be banned, a new study advises (stock image)
Voice-controlled systems allowing motorists to use their sat-nav or text at the wheel can be so distracting they should be banned, a new study advises (stock image)

Voice-controlled systems allowing motorists to use their sat-nav or text at the wheel can be so distracting they should be banned, a new study advises (stock image)

THE STUDY  

The researchers investigated in-car 'infotainment' systems fitted in brand new cars which allow drivers to 'multi-task' when they drive.

Operating the sat-nav by voice took around 40 seconds to complete, during which time in some cases drivers took their eyes off the road for up to 24 seconds.

At 25mph, a car would cover 200 yards during this 24 second window - equivalent to the length of two football pitches.

The research is concerning as previous research has found that the chance of having a crash doubles when you take your eyes off the road for longer than two seconds.

The experts investigated in-car 'infotainment' systems fitted in brand new cars which allow drivers to 'multi-task' when they drive.

The dashboard based systems allow drivers to text, use the radio, make phone calls or operate a satellite navigation system.

The report by the University of Utah advised: 'Our objective assessment indicates that many of these features are just too distracting to be enabled while the vehicle is in motion.'

Operating the sat-nav by voice took around 40 seconds to complete, during which time in some cases drivers took their eyes off the road for up to 24 seconds.

At 25mph, a car would cover 200 yards during this 24 second window - equivalent to the length of two football pitches.

The research is concerning as previous research has found that the chance of having a crash doubles when you take your eyes off the road for longer than two seconds.

Psychology professor David Strayer, who led the research, said: 'We're putting more and more technology in the car that just does not mix with driving.

'We're expecting to see more problems associated with distracted driving as more stuff is at the fingertips of the driver to distract them.'

The dashboard based systems allow drivers to text, use the radio, make phone calls or operate a satellite navigation system (stock image)

Dr Strayer added: 'Greater consideration should be given to what interactions should be available to the driver when the vehicle is in motion rather than to what features and functions could be available to motorists.

APPLE'S DO NOT DISTURB WHILE DRIVING MODE 

In iOS 11, Apple has introduced a new 'Do Not Disturb While Driving' mode. 

The feature can detect when your phone is connected to a car using Bluetooth or a cable, or if the car is moving, and withhold notifications.

The screen will also lock to prevent drivers from accessing their apps.

In iOS 11, Apple has introduced a new 'Do Not Disturb While Driving' mode
In iOS 11, Apple has introduced a new 'Do Not Disturb While Driving' mode

In iOS 11, Apple has introduced a new 'Do Not Disturb While Driving' mode

Users have the option of sending an auto reply to contacts to let them know they are driving and cannot respond until they arrive at their destination.

The feature is optional for passengers in the car, who can choose to disable it if they would like. 

'With the best intentions, we will put some technology in the car that we think will make the car safer, but people being people will use that technology in ways that we don't anticipate.'

Researchers, who conducted the research for the American Automobile Association for Traffic Safety reviewed traffic systems in 30 different cars on the American market in 2017.

The amount of time needed to operate devices varied from model to model.

Similar features are available in British cars.

Drivers were asked to carry out various types including voice-controlled activities and using touch screens.

Overall, text messaging was the second most distracting task.

Changing the music - such as switching radio station - was one of the easiest tasks to perform, along with placing a phone call by voice command.

The researchers also found surprisingly large differences between vehicles as far as workload required to operate the systems.

AAA said it hoped the new research would help automakers and system designers improve the functionality of new infotainment systems and the workload they require of drivers, which it said should not exceed a low level so that motorists can concentrate on the road.

 


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About Article Author

Satellite navigation devices should be BANNED
Larry Whyte

He is a leading authority on business trends including ‘big data’, self-employment and the social media revolution. He’s the author of the award-winning book, Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed (2011, Wiley) and a regular speaker for Bloomberg TV. He has spoken about global mega trends, big data and the social media revolution at conferences and business events around the world .

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