Archive for April, 2012
Today, there has been a constant upgrade on car electronics running alongside the enhancements that we are able to enjoy with our hand held electronic gadgets. Car manufacturers focus on feedback from actual buyers in choosing the best improvements in their human machine interface implementations and these include buttons, switched, joysticks, visual displays, and the latest craze in auto enhancements – voice control. Newer and more innovative options on driver interaction especially when it comes to entertainment and comfort controls are being developed and installed on the latest cars and SUVs.
However, many consumers today remain clueless as to how to use these high tech devices, so says a survey conducted by Gartner Koslowski in order to determine drivers’ preferences on HMIs or human machine interface technology. And in the same survey, what turned out to be the device which consumers are most interested in are those, which can be controlled by voice.
With laws on electronic device use while driving getting stricter and stricter, distraction while driving remains to be the main consideration applied by car electronics manufacturers in the design and manufacture of new gadgets. With the knowledge that distraction is going to be eternally tied up with the use of car electronic gadgets, most agree that banning their use would not be the right direction to take since consumers will continuously use, banned or not. The most appropriate thing to do right now is to improve the design of these gadgets with the aim of minimizing distraction and increasing efficiency while driving. This would be a two-pronged attack because with more capable and less distracting car electronics devices, both the government and the consumer are satisfied.
Ford is making headway in hitting the right spot when it comes to technology and safety combined. To begin with, the car giant is making sure that in its future releases, it would be known through its brand signature technology, features that are unique only to the Ford tag. These technologies include Sony and THX for its car audio, SYNC, and its refueling system that does not require the use for fuel caps, Easy Fuel. Understanding that customers’ perception remains one of the biggest factors affecting people’s decision when buying things, Ford is using technology branding and associating it with the Ford name to make people see them as technology leaders and innovators.
There is an increasing consumer demand for car electronics systems that promote safety and driver assistance and this has led to many enrichments in car manufacture some of which are lane departure warning systems, blind spot detection, and speed warning systems.
The National Transportation Safety Board reiterated its call on the ban on the use of all handy car electronics gadgets while diving. Based on a new study, tinkering with electronic devices while on the wheel has been a major cause of road carnage and the statistics of death caused by the same is increasingly alarming. In 2009, almost six thousand people were killed in vehicular accidents brought about by distractions one of which is cellular phone use. Robert Sumwalt, one of the National Transportation Safety Board officials using the mobile phone while driving increases the accident factor by almost 4 times. And it is not only the mobile phone that has been identified as the culprit. Other car electronics apparatus like the car stereo, television, and DVD player have also contributed to the rise in numbers of road mishaps.
That is the reason why NSTB officials are urging car electronics manufacturers to take a more active stance in responsibly informing their customers on the perils of using and operating their gadgets while driving. An information drive explaining the accountable and conscientious use of their devices can help in the reduction on the number of road fatalities.
To date, the ban on texting while driving is already in place in thirty-five states while nine states prohibit the use of mobile devices altogether. However, using the hands-free features of mobile phones is still not forbidden in the entire country, an act, which NSTB board members feel, is as equally dangerous as that of texting. What they are up against are giant automakers and car electronics gadgets manufacturers who are jointly developing newer and better systems to enable the drivers to take and make calls without compromising their capability to effectively and safely drive. Some of the features that have been incorporated in car electronics nowadays include dialing mobile phones using voice command, accessing music libraries, text, and even get updates from Twitter and Facebook while they are being read aloud by the car’s audio system. Car manufacturers and car electronics designers argue that it would be better and safer to perfect these systems now than never do them at all because drivers will use them whether they are banned or not and that would distract them more. Plus, the potential revenues in car electronics is so difficult to pass up since people will pay as much as they can to be able to stay connected even while they drive.