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April 23, 2014 | Last Updated 4:00 PM
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International
Jun 23 2013 10:56AM
 
Consumer Electronics Association to tackle driver distraction
The CEA will work with electronic device manufacturers to set new safety and usability standards for products such as smartphones.
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The US-based Consumer Electronics Association is aiming to set industry safety benchmarks for in-car electronic devices.

The newly formed Driver Device Interface Working Group will develop industry standards and best practices for consumer electronics products for use in cars, commercial vehicles, boats and aircraft.

“We believe that safety is paramount in a moving vehicle. A driver's highest priority should be safe driving and control of the vehicle at all times,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. “Consumer electronics manufacturers have developed products like GPS and hands-free Bluetooth that reduce the amount of time a driver must look away from the road. It makes sense to encourage development of these technologies rather than to try to regulate every possible distraction.”

As such, the new group will develop personal electronic device recommendations and standards for safe user experiences and is calling on technology companies and consumer groups to take an active role in the process.

A study from the University of Utah published this month highlights the risks that mobile devices, even those with in-car settings, can cause. It found that even smartphones with full hands-free functionality lack effectiveness as although the driver’s eyes remained fixed on the road, their concentration is split between the driving conditions and interacting with devices.

For example, dictating a test message or an email to a smartphone can be more dangerous than holding a phone to the ear and speaking while attempting to drive at the same time.

“Interacting with the speech-to-text system was the most cognitively distracting,” the report said. “This clearly suggests that the adoption of voice-based systems in the vehicle may have unintended consequences that adversely affect traffic safety." (Picture by Peter Gudella/shutterstock.com)

-Relaxnews

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