Despite no one yet having used it, Apple’s CarPlay draws safety criticism from some

“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?

Related articles:
No, Apple’s CarPlay does not ‘run BlackBerry’s QNX’ – March 5, 2014
Apple CarPlay uses BlackBerry’s QNX platform – March 4, 2014
Hands on with Apple’s CarPlay in a Ferrari FF; plus how Apple will push new third-party apps to the system – March 4, 2014
Apple’s ‘CarPlay’ set to take automotive industry by storm – March 4, 2014
Apple’s new CarPlay system will turn tens of millions of cars into iPhone accessories – March 3, 2014
Apple rolls out CarPlay giving drivers a smarter, safer and more fun way to use iPhone in the car – March 3, 2014
Apple to launch iOS in the Car with Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo next week; more makers coming this year – February 28, 2014
Honda’s ‘HondaLink’ offers partial iPhone-vehicle integration ahead of Apple’s ‘iOS in the Car’ – January 24, 2014
Apple patent application reveals in-vehicle holistic ID for ‘iOS in the Car’ – December 12, 2013
ABI Research: Apple’s ‘iOS in the Car’ to be No. 1 in-vehicle system by 2018 – November 1, 2013
General Motors adds Apple’s Siri Eyes Free to more vehicles following ‘remarkable’ customer response – October 16, 2013
Hidden contacts revealed within Apple’s iOS in the Car – August 8, 2013
Automakers integrate Apple’s iOS in the Car to minimize driver distraction, increase customer satisfaction – July 30, 2013
Why Apple is planning aggressive 2014 launch for ‘iOS in the Car’ – July 26, 2013
Why Tim Cook described Apple’s iOS in the Car strategy as ‘very important’ – July 25, 2013
Apple has its eyes on automakers with ‘iOS in the Car’ – July 5, 2013
Ford plummets to 27th in J.D. Power vehicle quality rankings on Microsoft-developed ‘MyFord Touch’ woes – June 20, 2012


    1. Part of the problem is that all the demo videos that hit yesterday show the individual poking at the screen. This was obviously done to demonstrate the various functions of the system, but reading through comments elsewhere, it is apparent that many viewers did not understand that these controls are all replicated on the steering wheel or joystick, by voice, or both.

      1. I agree. The videos online so far show an touch interactive system.

        Where are the demonstrations showing the “Eyes Free and Hands Free” capabilities of the system? Apple needs to get those demonstrations out to the media and online ASAP.

        If it can TRULY be operated in an “Eyes Free and Hands Free” mode then it won’t be any more distracting that having your mother-in-law in the passenger seat boisterously telling you all the things you’ve been doing wrong for the past many years. Are they going to pass laws and implement regulations that ban mothers-in-law from riding in the car with you? (I’m sure many spouses would support such a law!)

        If it TRULY is “Eyes Free and Hands Free” then how is it any more distracting that having your young children in the car with you? How is it even as distracting as 90% of the pets in cars that I’ve seen over the years?

        To be 100% honest, I haven’t seen an in person demonstration yet, so I’m reserving judgement. I can only hope that Apple has implemented what they are claiming to have done — a TRULY “Eyes Free and Hands Free” interface. If they have done that, they need to demonstrate that to the world ASAP..

  1. GPS units didn’t already make it worse?
    Mobile phones didn’t already make it worse?
    iPods didn’t already make it worse?
    Digging through the tape/CD case looking for something to listening to didn’t already make it worse?
    Putting on make-up didn’t already make it worse?
    Dealing with your kids didn’t already make it worse?
    Trying to dig your fries and Big Mac out of the bag didn’t already make it worse?
    Trying to figure out where you are on a map didn’t already make it worse?

    Eh, just a bunch of ass hats looking for attention.

    1. Precisely. Like it’s not bad enough trying to use an automaker’s horrible navigation system, or click buttons next to selections on a screen.

      With CarPlay, you can do virtually anything CarPlay handles via Siri. That’s one button to press on the steering wheel, say your command, and watch the road the entire time. You can speak directions/destinations, have messages read, and switch media inputs verbally. Regardless, the system is far, FAR safer than looking down at your iPhone.

      Amazing how these “safety experts” decide to make claims before they even experience a product.

  2. Someone is getting pad to cast aspersions on a system that will just home just how fucking terrible the automotive industry and their partners have been regarding in car systems.

  3. Here’s a good indicator of how bad things have gotten. The safest form of mobile communication yet is introduced and the Director of the National Safety Council poo poos it. The Peter Principle at it’s zenith. This guy has risen to a level of incompetence. I mean c’mon. Go after something that is dangerous, not something that helps improve safety. Jaheezus!

  4. If these safety zeolots controlled the world, drivers would need to obey the following rules:

    1) Only the driver is allowed to ride in the car, because other people in the car is a distraction
    2) No cell phones of any kind because talking is a distraction
    3) No playing the radio, listening to music on any type of device, because listening to anything is a distraction
    4) No eating, no drinking soda/water/coffee, no gum chewing, and no smoking because moving your mouth is a distraction
    5) No farting, because smelling is a distraction
    6) Always drive with 2 hands on the wheel at the 10:00 and 2:00 position
    7) Never open or close a window because it causes you to violate rule #6.
    8) No giving the finger to other drivers, because it causes you to violate rule #6.
    9) No talking about the incompetence of other drivers because talking is a distraction
    10) No alcohol or drugs for 24 hours prior to getting in your car because it will impair you abilities
    11) No eating within 12 hours of getting in the car because your digestive system may make noises which will be a distraction
    12) No brain activity other than that needed to drive in your lane, because thinking is a distraction

    If we all just followed these simple rules we will eliminate all accidents and the world will be a better place.

  5. Yep, the radio has to go!
    While we are at it, take out the speedometer. Way to distracting.
    So is the oil gage, signal lights, gear shit indicators and billboards with sexy ladies in them . . . waaaaay too distracting.

    1. You may be very handy with the phone and the steering wheel but most drivers can steer, talk on a phone and drink their coffee.

      They weave all over the lane and drive along at least 20% slower than the traffic flow.

      How hard is it to pull over and make or take a call?

      1. I’m talking about stuff that is on the dashboard like your radio or CarPlay. Radio’s (and speedometers) have been on the dashboard since long before you or I have been born.

  6. MDN seems to have taken the legitimate concerns completely out of context. Nobody singled out Apple as a bad player. We know Apple will do what it can to consider the safety aspects of new functionality, but it’s definitely concerning that other lesser companies will deploy crappy half-baked systems that ARE NOT good hands-free, distraction-free devices.

  7. Would have to agree with Mr. O’Tool. While texting is the most distracting, increasing the chance of crash by 20x, even hands-off devices increased the risk 4x. Interestingly even, speaking to someone in the car does not.

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