Apple Inc. (AAPL) CarPlay – Is It Safe For Drivers?

Updated on

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is coming up with many new updates making it easier to use one’s iPhone in the car; however, many of the experts feel that the new features are not in the best interests of drivers as they offer a lot of potential distractions, says a report from CNN. The iPhone maker’s new “CarPlay” system allows a user to make hands-free calls, dictate text messages along with other iPhone features, but experts think that the new updates might disturb drivers while driving.

Expressing concern on the same, David Teater, a senior director at the nonprofit National Safety Council, said, “The auto industry and the consumer electronics industry are really in an arms race to see how we can enable drivers to do stuff other than driving.”

More features mean more distractions

Some of studies have suggested that talking in hands-free mode is almost as unsafe as driving while holding a phone. In technical terms, the problem is referred to as “cognitive distraction,” where although the driver’s eyes are fixed on the road, their minds are focused elsewhere.

Last year, a study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that the reaction time of drivers double when they are either texting manually or using voice-to-text applications like Apple’s Siri or Vlingo for Android.

In another study by researchers at the University of Utah, it was found that talking on a hand-held phone is only marginally more distracting than talking on a hands-free phone. The study categorized both the activities in the “moderate” risk category while Voice-to-text applications like Siri were graded as “extensive” risk, meaning more distracting.

Automakers lining to offer new system from Apple

Earlier this week, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) showcased the new system at the Geneva Auto Show, and the first vehicle equipped with this system will be coming later this year from Volvo, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz. According to Apple, other major automakers including GM, Ford, Toyota and Honda will be offering CarPlay “down the road.”

In order to woo more customers, automakers have been offering numerous smartphone integration apps in some of theitr models, but it is believed that the new system from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will pay an important role in standardizing the technology across the industry, and providing more options to the drivers.

Use of a cell phone while driving is one of the major contributors to distracted driving accidents. According to government statistics, “distracted driving” accidents killed 3,328 people and injured 421,000 in 2012. Though some of the states have banned the use of cell phones while driving, there are no laws over the use of hands-free devices.

Leave a Comment