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Thursday, July 28, 2022

Modern Cars Have Too Many Screens That It's Becoming A Safety Concern


Research suggests that driver distraction and inattention are considered factors in nearly half of all fatal and serious injury accidents. With cars now bristling with more technology than ever before, an unlikely company is speaking out against the trend of having too many screens.

VNC Automotive, a pioneer in car connectivity software and hardware, whose technology is currently in use in over 35 million vehicles, thinks that the modern car interior is now at risk of becoming almost as distracting as what’s going on outside.

“Competition for driver attention has never been greater,” says Tom Blackie, CEO, VNC Automotive. “The roads are busier than ever, touchscreens dominate vehicle interiors, and we’re living increasingly connected lives. That means there are now many more opportunities for a driver’s focus to be elsewhere.”

Not only that, but modern cars are laden with systems keen to issue a cacophony of warnings and alerts, chastising us for straying over a white line without indicating, or demanding we take a break when we’re miles from the nearest service area.

“They’ve become the ultimate back-seat driver,” says Blackie, “interrupting the task of driving to issue critique but with not enough context to be useful.”

It’s easy to see how things got there. Purely passive safety measures such as airbags and crumple zones have now reached the limit of their potential, with no further major developments expected. In addition, visibility has taken a back seat in favor of occupant protection and aesthetic considerations, leading to high shoulder lines, thick pillars and smaller window openings that result in narrower fields of vision for the driver.

To compensate, the industry has adopted active technologies that rely on externally-mounted cameras, radar and other sensors, and with each new vehicle generation it seems more of the responsibilities of driving are delegated to them.

So entrenched is this approach that testing bodies such as the New Car Assessment Program or NCAP now demand their installation before awarding the full complement of stars, even going as far as to hold back points should a required feature not be fitted as standard.

However, there is evidence to suggest that newer cars are now more likely to be involved in accidents at junctions or when joining traffic, scenarios where distraction can be particularly dangerous. And while the risks associated with long glances away from the road—such as when interacting with a mobile phone—are well understood, more research is needed on the impacts of multiple short glances that are typical when interacting with a touchscreen, for example.

“Our experience gained as a result of having our technology installed in 35 million vehicles worldwide has shown us that there’s a subtle yet significant difference between an interface that offers a slick window onto a digital world and one that buries basic functionality at the center of a labyrinth…Perhaps the time has come to recognize the seriousness of this challenge and ask our safety organizations to develop formal assessments for in-vehicle distraction,” suggests Blackie.

Euro NCAP may already be on the case. From 2023, vehicles will need to be fitted with direct driver monitoring to stand a chance of achieving a full score in the Occupant Status Monitoring (OSM) category, with the system doling out warnings should a driver’s attention stray too far from the task of driving.

This raises the prospect of a driver being admonished for delving into a touchscreen menu to adjust the temperature, for example, an unappealing situation that any car manufacturer will undoubtedly be keen to address. But it also introduces the possibility of adjusting a vehicle’s systems in response to the driver’s current attention level.

ADAS features such as forward collision warning could adjust their sensitivity to deliver warnings sooner should a driver’s attention be elsewhere, while the opposite could also be true, offering less intrusive feedback if a driver is judged to be much more alert. It might even be possible to adjust the layout of in-vehicle screens in response to the situation at hand, simplifying the display on a busy motorway, for example.

“If we’re to expect drivers to be able to resume control should an assistance feature not perform as expected, understanding both physical and cognitive distraction is only going to become more important,” concludes Blackie.

26 comments:

  1. Simple is better, simplicity is beauty

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  2. digital controls should be complemented by manual controls, e.g., for aircon, volume, etc. Most useful are safety aids like blind spot monitoring, parking cameras, etc. The placement of the screen also matters. it should be at eye level.

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  3. knobs is life lol, I agree with @9:26, there should be a balance of both screen and switches and knobs

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  4. May kilala ako sa isang forum, hindi daw siya mabuhay walang apple carplay or android auto. Bakit kaya

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    1. Useful naman kasi ang Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can use it to navigate (Waze or Google Maps), voice commands, etc. I would never buy a modern car without at least CarPlay installed. Kesa naman yung nag-wa-Waze sa phone habang nagmamaneho di ba? Consider rin natin na ang mga OLED screens ay prone to burn in kaya I'd rather have both installed.

      For Tagalog texts, naiintindihan ko kahit papaano ang pagbasa ng Android Auto. Kung may mag-text, pwede ka mag-reply without pressing or looking at anything. Voice command lang lahat.

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    2. I never rely on waze or google. I arrive to the place without being late. I know my destinations. Kids these days and their gadgets.

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    3. So you're calling Millennials and young adult-aged people as "kids". Now guess what, they'll be the next market for the upcoming cars.

      I don't know if you are outright insulting them, but let me tell you that smartphone mirroring should be considered standard (yes, Android Auto and Apple Carplay) because it's just so useful in these age of tech, in fact it even takes their eyes off the phone and focus on the road (hence the criticism on larger, more digital screens on cars the sizes should be kept at minimum imo.) Either you're salty or just behind the times.

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    4. Yes you millennials, always glued to your screen. Even when driving you have the unstoppable urge to be connected to your phone. If that's what it takes for you to be swayed from buying a car then I consider that a major fail. Next time know your destination first before getting in your car and tinkering with your android auto or apple carplay.

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    5. Thanks Captain Obvious for telling me what normally a driver should do lol. Oh I see. You're both the former and the latter. Salty and behind the times lol.

      And nice of you derogatorily assuming that a 33-year old me with children is a millennial. So many salty people at this site huh

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    6. A 33 year old is millennial, genius. Imagine liking a car that’s fuel efficient, has good performance, nice handling, handsome looks, good price but oh, no apple carplay or android auto. Well, better look for the more expensive boring car that has apple carplay, as if you can’t install an aftermarket headunit or use your cellphone that you’re too afraid burn the screen which by the way you’ll probably replace 2 to 3 years anyway.

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    7. This anon insulting millenials sounds like the one calling me boy interior and calling out rg for wanting to put decals to make cheap car good looking. Bawal may ibang preference, kailangan lahat katulad niya at kung pano siya. Lmao.

      Why cant you accept the fact that other people have diff opinions and preferences? No one is forcing you to use carplay if you dont want to. And nothing wrong with those using, makes life easier tbh. Besides your toxic personality you also seem like the enemy of progress.

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    8. In your case, its just plain stupidity bro. Thinking a car is superior because it has a good looking interior (not necessarily a durable or functional interior), and wanting the brand "pidgot" plastered on the car so commoners will treat him as a king.

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    9. See, dimo parin nakuha, ang haba ng usap pero wala, or ayaw lang tanggapin talaga? Ngayon iniba mo lang sinabi mo pero base parin sa paulit ulit na argument mo. Tapos stupid agad. Haha anyway, napansin ko kahit di ako nagcocomment binabanggit mo ko. Funny, hindi ka siguro masaya sa life mo haha.

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    10. Of course I will say the always say the same thing because I'm merely parroting the hilarious statements you said before. Alangan naman kumuha ako ng storya na gawa gawa ko lang. I'm just basing it on what you said.

      Isip isip din bro. Ay tama, wala ka palang common sense.

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    11. You mean the things i didnt say or even imply? Or your opinions and views that got fact checked and you had no response? Or maybe the questions i asked but were never answered?

      Convince mo pa sarili mo. Pati ibang tao. Kaya ka siguro comment ng comment about sakin kahit wala ako. Para kang bata na inagawan ng candy, iiyak tapos naghahanap ng kakampi. Haha

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    12. Oh diba ang galing ko, nakilala kita kahit anon ka. Toxic mo kasi. Dali mong basahin. Paulit ulit kapa. Nag comment kapa about sa 2008 na gusto ko yun or something pero mali nman. Haha. Tiba tiba scammers sayo.

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    13. Follow your own advice. Ikaw ang kailangan mag convince sa sarili mo.

      You wrote those things, not me. You want a "pidgot" vs a toyota because of its supposedly better interior. I'm not twisting your words or anything, what you said is clear and not difficult to understand. Wag ka na maraming storya pa. Pinaiikot ikot mo pa to justify your hilarious statements. Be a man and stand by your words. Even if they're funny as hell... Well not to you anyway.

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    14. Oh diba katulad nito. Be a man daw eh never ko nman tinangi yun. Sinabi ko talaga na kung papipiliin ako sa 3008 at sa rav4 mas pipiliin ko 3008 dahil mas mura at mas marami features sa interior. Plus malapit ako sa dealership at may iba pako sasakyan. Ikaw lang nman nagdagdag at gumgawa ng mga bagay bagay tulad ng “living room” hanap ko at “wala nako pake sa ibang bagay basta maganda interior” at “pidgot”. Never ko sinabi or na-implied. Haha. So san mo nakuha na tinanggi ko? Eh di syempre gawagawa. Haha.

      Never ka talaga naka intindi. Dami mo pa sinabi noon eh “porsches sell because of performance” tapos nung nalaman mo mali dika na sumagot. Haha. Napahiya na so di na lang sinagot.

      Hindi mo siguro matanggap na ang pangit at overpriced ng rav4. 2.5m labo ng rev cam tapos 7”, may air bubbles leather seats tapos ang nipis. Haha. Or brand fanboy ka? “Basta toyota okay na dibale na kung anong model”. Haha. Bano.

      O dimo lang talaga tanggap na hindi lang ikaw tao sa mundo? Haha.

      Ps. Clear daw pero wala nman na absorb. Ikaw yung nakalagay na price sa post tapos mag cocomment ng “hm?”. Haha.

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    15. Holy crap. That's a long wall of text.

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  5. Even music could simply destract me when driving idk.. that's why i would ask my family to bring with them their headsets. What more those almost driverless features of modern cars. If i ever own one of those advanced cars, i'd switch off everything that warns except the reverse camera and dashcams.

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    1. I’ve read car reviews where the author switched off these systems for being overly sensitive and/or make too many alerts that are annoying. Some manufacturers are better than others in making these systems actually helpful than distracting. Kia is often mentioned as one of the better ones in this area.

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  6. Too much of everything is bad

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  7. I agree. More screens mean more distraction. Keep it simple. Driver should be primarily focused on driving. I would welcome more physical buttons as well. Once the screen gets broken, it's hard to fix, or have to replace with a new one, and it's going to be expensive!

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  8. It's actually good to be hightech because let's face it, we have no choice but to embrace the future and technology is continuilly evolving. As for cars, it'll be good if it's well executed and of course if it'll become accessible enough that parts like screens when in need to be replace/repair should be as easy as going to an auto supply buying nuts and bolts coz that makes other people being hesitant to get those super techy cars except the super filthy ones.

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    1. Good for? Do you mean, good for "planned obsolescence"?

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    2. Planned obsolescence in what sense?

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