“Apple is making it easier than ever to use your iPhone in the car. Some auto safety experts think that’s not such a good idea,” James O’Toole reports for CNN. “The tech giant’s new ‘CarPlay’ system allows drivers to make hands-free calls, dictate text messages, and access a number of other iPhone functions; in other words, a lot of potential distractions.”

“‘We’re very, very concerned about it,’ said David Teater, senior director at the nonprofit National Safety Council. ‘The auto industry and the consumer electronics industry are really in an arms race to see how we can enable drivers to do stuff other than driving,'” O’Toole reports. “Apple unveiled the system at the Geneva Auto Show this week, and the first CarPlay-equipped vehicles will debut later this year from Volvo, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz. A number of other major automakers, including GM, Ford, Toyota and Honda, will begin offering CarPlay ‘down the road,’ Apple said.”

“Apple’s CarPlay increases safety by allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road while accessing their phones via Siri, the company’s voice assistant software,” O’Toole reports. “Interestingly, although drivers using smartphones are substantially more likely to crash, overall accident rates have actually dropped in the past decade as these devices have saturated the market. That’s according to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a research group funded by auto insurers. ‘Ten years ago, the institute predicted that we would see a spike in crashes as phones and other electronic devices proliferated, but it didn’t happen,’ said Russ Rader, a spokesman for the IIHS. ‘That doesn’t mean they’re not distracting, but if you think about distraction in all its different forms, cell phone use is just one part of it.'”

O’Toole reports, “The institute has found that state laws banning cell phone use while driving have no effect on crash totals.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What’s less distracting, dealing with a user interface that’s familiar to over a billion iPhone, iPod and iPad users made by the world’s absolute leader in user interfaces or trying to deal with with the convoluted, generally awful, and confusing morass of so-called user interfaces found in vehicles today?

And, “safety experts”/soothsayers, instead of watching a couple of YouTube videos and leaping to conclusions, how about we all try Apple’s CarPlay system first before jumping the gun and baselessly castigating it, m’kay?

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