With American traffic fatalities recently hitting a 15-year high, an infotainment arms race seems like the last thing we need right now. The car industry is poised to give us one anyway.
Eager to differentiate, carmakers are constantly updating their infotainment systems with new and flashy designs, with touchscreens that look and feel like an iPad, come with a redundant control wheel next to the cupholder, and claim the ability to read hand gestures.
Researchers have demonstrated that touchscreens can reduce drivers’ visual awareness of their surroundings. They also increase the risk of errors. “Touchscreens and 65-mph bouncy highways don’t work very well together,” says Kelly Funkhouser, the head of connected and automated vehicles at Consumer Reports. One study found that drivers selecting music with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto had slower reaction times than those who were high from smoking pot.
Read the article at Slate.