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Axis Innovation Team | April 26, 2020

Distracted driving not quite defeated by new tech, yet

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Our cars are not used just to transport anymore. What we want to and can do in our vehicles is becoming continuously more advanced. As we detailed in our In-Car Experience Report White Paper, what we do and how we do it in the car is rapidly changing and will continue to change as we get even more technologically advanced. However, one core challenge to these new in-car experiences is distracted driving. Despite the fact that we have better screens, human-machine interfaces such as voice control head-up displays, and even gesture control, recent research has shown they may even lead to more distraction.

Here are the core insights from the webinar:

Roadshow by CNET discussed a study that showed that ‘driver reaction times using this tech were worse than motorists with alcohol or cannabis in their system’. With participants having been tested by doing various basic tasks using the in-car controls, they were shown to be distracted for an extended period of time and to modify their driving when using the controls.

A New York Times article notes the fact that aside from the basic distractions such as looking at screens or focusing on pressing buttons, using technology in the car also simply distracts our minds. When using voice control or simply having phone calls, our thoughts shift towards what we are trying to say or hear, which almost certainly will decrease reaction time to any unexpected event.

So what can be done to maximize safety while also maximizing the experience? Technology will certainly help as new solutions are created, user adoption becomes more widespread, and ultimately we get to autonomous vehicles later in the future. However, there is no replacing human attention and ensuring drivers are aware that their main job is to keep focus on the road. At Axis Innovation, we’re constantly on the lookout for new technology and startups that can bring a better, more enjoyable, but critically safer experience in the car. If you have such a solution — reach out and let us know!

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