[Skip ahead to 2:08 (or don’t)]
It’s the stuff of a Ray LaHood nightmare. Automotive News [sub]’s lede comes screaming out of the blackness:
BERLIN — Ford Motor Co. has adapted its Sync in-car connectivity system to cope with high speeds on German autobahns.
But you can’t wake up, Mr Secretary of Transportation. For this is no dream…
Luckily, it is happening far away in Germany… and Ford’s not even doing all that much to change its hands-free entertainment and communication system. Per Jason Johnson, user interface design engineer for Sync product development,
Ford had to do more than simply program the technology to understand different European languages. The system also has to allow for how Europeans drive… For instance, at autobahn speeds, Ford found that its navigation system wasn’t giving sufficient warning that the desired exit was coming up. The system had to be reprogrammed to give extra warning
Otherwise, Germans should feel free to use their hands-free systems at whatever speed they happen to be driving. After all, if your hands are on the wheel, it’s not a distraction, amiright? Ray? Anybody?