The Truth About Cars » distraction http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 22 Sep 2014 18:08:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » distraction http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Feds Push NY Towards Full Ban On Electronic Devices In Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/feds-push-ny-towards-full-ban-on-electronic-devices-in-cars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/feds-push-ny-towards-full-ban-on-electronic-devices-in-cars/#comments Wed, 15 Feb 2012 20:35:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=431003 Citing New York’s leadership in banning hand-held cell phone use in cars, NTSB Vice Chairman Christopher Hart urged the Empire State to become the first to ban all use of personal electronic devices while driving. Though careful to call it a state issue, Hart did hint that state compliance with forthcoming NTSB recommendations could be […]

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Citing New York’s leadership in banning hand-held cell phone use in cars, NTSB Vice Chairman Christopher Hart urged the Empire State to become the first to ban all use of personal electronic devices while driving. Though careful to call it a state issue, Hart did hint that state compliance with forthcoming NTSB recommendations could be tied to federal highway funds (he has separately called for a national ban).

And indeed, New York’s legislators seemed to see the issue of distraction as an issue for federal action (but then, why not make the feds pay for it?). At the same time, everyone understands that the problem is near-ubiquitous and any full ban on personal device use in cars would be near-impossible to enforce (short of Assemblyman McDonough’s suggestion that automakers equip cars with cell-phone signal blockers)… which raises huge questions about federal-level action.

Hart says enforcement will be a major topic of an NTSB forum, scheduled for March 27 (note: the forum is not yet listed on the NTSB’s events page). With the NTSB pushing hard on what was once largely a rhetorical issue, goading the notoriously-nannying New York government towards a full ban on in-car device use, this forum should be a good measure of the feds’ resolve.

After all, everyone knows that distracted driving is wrong (with the possible exception of automakers, who load ever more distractions into their cars)… it’s just a question of how much government intrusion would be necessary to stop it. If Ray LaHood’s minions go for broke and pursue an enforcement rather than an education approach at their forum (as they did with their NY pilot program), this debate could blow up into pitched political warfare overnight.

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Quote Of The Day: Hands Free At High Speeds Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/quote-of-the-day-hands-free-at-high-speeds-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/quote-of-the-day-hands-free-at-high-speeds-edition/#comments Wed, 31 Aug 2011 20:10:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=409638 [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 […]

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[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?

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What Happened To The War On Distraction? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/what-happened-to-the-war-on-distraction/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/what-happened-to-the-war-on-distraction/#comments Sat, 11 Jun 2011 21:28:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=398334 NHTSA Administrator David Strickland warned automakers last week that he had no interest in making it easier to use systems like Twitter and Facebook, indicating that integration of these systems could face future regulation. But while Strickland was playing Bad Cop, his boss (and the traditional bad cop in these routines) Ray LaHood was busy […]

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NHTSA Administrator David Strickland warned automakers last week that he had no interest in making it easier to use systems like Twitter and Facebook, indicating that integration of these systems could face future regulation. But while Strickland was playing Bad Cop, his boss (and the traditional bad cop in these routines) Ray LaHood was busy playing Good Cop, telling the AP [via The WaPo] that

We are data-based. Our credibility comes from having good data. If we have good data, then we can make a case. Is messing with your GPS a cognitive distraction? Is changing the channel on the radio a cognitive distraction? We’re looking at that now.

You can see the entire war plan for the DOT’s assault on distraction in PDF here, but don’t rush. You have plenty of time. Voluntary guidelines (yes, voluntary) for visual-manual interfaces won’t come out until Q3 of this year, portable devices in Q3 2013 and voice-activated systems in Q1 2014. Meanwhile, the government won’t even have the data on which to regulate hands-free systems until Q1 2012. So, even though most research shows little change in distraction between a hands-free and handheld device, the industry should be able to sell a grip of hands-free and voice-activated systems before the government is even sure of how distracting they are.

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Anything To Forget You’re In A Chrysler http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/10/anything-to-forget-youre-in-a-chrysler/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/10/anything-to-forget-youre-in-a-chrysler/#comments Thu, 29 Oct 2009 15:50:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=333491 The post Anything To Forget You’re In A Chrysler appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

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