The guidelines, which are voluntary, encourage the manufacturers of cars, light trucks, and SUVs to simplify their communication and infotainment systems, so drivers won't need more than a few seconds to use a device. The proposals would not apply to safety features, such as electronic collision warning systems.
The Department of Transportation (DOT), which oversees the NHTSA, has suggested a phased-in approach for compliance.
The Phase I guidelines include these recommendations:
Reduce complexity and task length required by the device;
Limit device operation to one hand only (leaving the other hand to remain on the steering wheel to control the vehicle);
Limit individual off-road glances required for device operation to no more than two seconds in duration;
Limit unnecessary visual information in the driver's field of view;
Limit the amount of manual inputs required for device operation.
The proposal also suggests disabling these operations while the vehicle is in motion:
Visual-manual text messaging;
Visual-manual internet browsing;
Visual-manual social media browsing;
Visual-manual navigation system destination entry by address;
Visual-manual 10-digit phone dialing;
Displaying to the driver more than 30 characters of text unrelated to the driving task.
The DOT does not intend to penalize carmakers that don't implement the guidelines.
However I think guidelines are not enough. Some of these that you mentioned should be banned (incl. text messaging and internet browsing) and penal action should be taken against carmakers who dont ensure that these features are taken off. Also, orientation/guidelines at the time of license issuance may help take the campaign one step forward so that each driver knows whats allowed and whats illegal/dangerous.
Considering customized cars, I think there should be a general policy irrespective of the statue either customized or general that no car should have any distractive feature. Driving require total concentration, you can imagine watching movie while driving.
Cryptoman, As Barbara wrote in a previous message will legislation solve entire problems of driver distraction? There's no law against reading while driving (there's a law about distraction but not that specific). What happens in the gray areas? The regulators may end up prescribing all kinds of laws and adding more and more to these as consumers add to the things they do behind the wheel.
I think it is a positive move but I fear it is unlikely to work and is a bit unfair to the car manufacturers. Nothing stops the third party devices to be used in the cars according to this law. It simply prevents the "distractive" features to come as standard in cars.
If the real issue is personal and driving safety here, the law should be extended to prohibit the "use" of distractive infotainment systems in cars. Therefore, the liability should be shifted to the drivers, which I think where the weakest link in the chain lies.
This law will simply boost the sales of the third party in-car infotainment device manufacturers because most drivers fill go and buy the missing features from them. As a result, the driving safety will remain as a problem.
Barbara, After reading through the proposed guidelines, I couldn't but wonder how the automakers are supposed to implement them. How, for instance, do you limit what a driver can look at inside or outside the vehicle -- and if you can through software -- how do you implement the timing issue? How long am I supposed to glance at my GPS, for instance, and who's timing me? Some of the guidelines simply require the driver to be more responsible behind the wheel and cannot be legislated or even required.
I think this could lead to something good.
Even if DOT does not want to penalise manufacturers who don't comply, they should at least offer some sort of certification and approval for those who comply, this could help compel other to respond to creating safer cars
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.