The Connected Car: Good or Bad

New vehicles such as the Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX, and the Audi A6 let travellers to connect to the Internet from the front seat. These Internet connections over Wi-Fi or 3G networks allow motorists to enjoy streaming video, audio, spoken text messages, and current traffic information. We normally view tech advancements as a positive. But connectivity in the car begs an important question: Is this the best thing?

Challenges of the Connected Car

Drivers get distracted and this can bring about accidents. In fact, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 80 % of all accidents involve driver inattention within 3 seconds of the impact. So, this being true, imagine how distracted the driver would be if there is an amusing YouTube video playing on an in-car screen.

Does Tech Distract Drivers?

Anything which takes a driver’s attention from the road may be a threat. Whether it’s texting, making calls, or just having a companion in the car. Many states have made it unlawful to text while driving for this reason. This is the major reason why the news that vehicles are coming out with 3G connections doesn’t make everybody jump for joy.

Browsing the Web Inside Your Car

Regardless of how we feel concerning this, unless laws are put into place stopping it, people will soon be able to stream YouTube videos, Google an answer to a question, and correspond via social media sites within their cars. Maybe the next step ought to be to increase the self-driving aspects to cars; but perhapsthat would disconnect us even more to the world around us.

Once again, this would normally be deemed a positive development of technology. The potential negative impacts, though—an increase in the number of unfocused drivers on the road—do give pause. It’s important for drivers to realize these tech goodies are nice features. However, it’s equally crucial for them to stay focused on the road, regardless of how badly they wish to sneak a peek at the video streaming into their vehicles.

Posted on: 03.28.12