The modern cars now come increasingly laden with advanced infotainment features, it, on one hand, ensures product differentiation and on the other hand, presents monetization opportunities for OEMs as well as its partners.
But a research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has revealed that in-vehicle technology can create dangerous distractions for drivers. The foundation’s latest phase of research released in 2017 found that drivers using in-vehicle technologies like voice-based and touch screen features can take their eyes and mental focus off the road and hands off the wheel for potentially dangerous periods of time.
AAA’s latest research evaluated the infotainment systems in 30 new 2017 vehicles. Specifically, the study focused on the visual (eyes off road) and cognitive (mental) demand as well as the time it took drivers to complete a task. Study participants were required to use voice commands, touch screens and other interactive technologies to make a call, send a text message, tune the radio or program navigation, all while driving down the road.
Programming navigation was the most distracting task, taking an average of 40 seconds for drivers to complete. In addition, none of the 30 vehicle infotainment systems produced low demand, while 23 systems generated high or very high levels of demand on drivers:
- 12 systems generated very high demand
- 11 systems generated high demand
- 7 systems generated moderate demand
It can be concluded that in-vehicle technologies are inevitable and with evolving automotive ecosystem more of such technologies and features are bound to enter the infotainment panel of the car but it should be congruent with the development of the autonomy in the car. As the level of autonomy increases and so does the time and attention of the driver/user available for other activities other than driving. While appending in-vehicle technologies in the car this should be taken care of by the automakers, if the harmony between the level of autonomy and infotainment features is not maintained it may create safety issues, which can not be compromised.
The full report can be accessed here