Good intention, huge benefit for the car makers, as development cycles is shorter and users will be able to buy smartphone applications when they’re developed. However, the danger here is, as clearly pointed out, the potential distraction that smart apps pose for drivers may outweigh the benefits.
Bruce as you rightly mentioned, it is a gray area, "what happens when drivers begins to use voice - activated commands to send and receive emails"?
Some inconsiderate motorist still fail to park and take a call from their smart phones let alone have a standardized in car smartphones. This to me will increase and add to already hazardous driving related problems on the road.
The distraction factor may pose a difficulty for the adoption of this device. Hence, I think considerable legislation is required before this can proceed.
This one is tricky.Vehicles don’t even let you program the navigation system while the car is in motion, even if it is the passenger that wants to enter a new destination.I believe that there is a place for smart phones in vehicles, but legislation may prove difficult to have them be useful, unless in the parked position.
I agree with you Anna, clear rules to regulate usage of that technologies are necessary for safety reasons. Anyway I suppose the integration reported by Bruce within his editorial could help a lot people with limitations in driving as disabled for example, isn't it?
Mr.Roques, I believe following example [ http://www.semantyca.com/ ]is very interesting; it represents a general platform which any cars' corporation could integrate to provide services mentioned within Bruce's editorial.
I find it surprising that you mentione car manufacturers developing such consoles inhouse! Normally, I believe the consoles are outsourced to third parties which further delegate the software for such applications to software consultancies in the developing world, India for instance. I have come across several instances of companies in India developing the cellphone apps adapters for auto consoles for console manufacturers.
Would like to know more about auto majors who are working to develop their own such consoles.
I agree Backorder, exactly, in fact mentioned example is reporting a third party doable to provide own platforms or applications for cars corporations. Don't know what auto majors are doing internally. It seems the near future is to integrate NFC or similar technologies but once again it is a patent provided by third parties.
Good point Mr.Roques, as per what I understood currently that platform doesn't provide those features, but it seems their own middleware (running as development environment) could allow them. Don't know other apps already available for car's control by voice.
I agree, it is a critical issue. It could be very interesting for example to deep understand tests' processes and methodogy to perform in order to avoid situations you have mentioned. I believe who will hold that knowledge, could in fact bring in the market a unique competence and maybe new business opportunities never thougth before, will raise.
The question is like someone sitting on top of the vehicle without a belt. Any sudden change in velocity can end up in a serious crash. Smart phone and Smart driving may co-exist if properly designed, proved and tested appropriate. But it can be too-much knowledge-too much trouble. In human, as a result of multiple medications, we do have drug to grug interaction. We can not rule out device to device interaction in electronics also. We've got to think of what we are askiing for!
This is another perspective of the eco-system smart phone-smart driving are potentially going to create. According to your thoughts, I believe that integration could help human senses in discovering faster potential dangerous events or things with possible impact on safety. I don't believe that main sense of that integration will be in the direction of human senses' replacement.
I am quite convinced knowledge in conceive, design and especially in testing smart phone-smart driving integration, is potentially a new business to launch.
Yes Mr.Roques, I can. I was meaning like this: since quite a long ago, several companies, especially from India, have started business in off-shore services for sw development and testing. Good results in terms of customers' satisfaction and work's outstanding have been achieved in the area of IT, ERP, telecom, aerospace and so on. Imo, those talents and model could be applied also for testing services in the area automotive integration discussed here (smart driving & smart phone), it has been recognized is a process to pay attention a lot.
I agree and maybe this is the reason for explaining car's control by voice is not yet delivered. Sometimes we have heard Army has adopted similar controls for military vehicles, including helicopters and jets. Probably, as happened in other areas, civil technology will adopt solutions previously tested (and used) by them.
@Tvotapka, not anymore. For example, if i am driving to my office and it takes 30-45 minutes then instead of just driving i would like to finish the trivial (or important) stuff while on my way. Aren't we want to be connected all the time :-)
That’s a big question, whether smart car and smart cars can co exist. I agree that many of us are driving more than 30 minutes and would like to do multitasking while driving. But personally i would like to suggest don’t mix drive with your mobiles, because any diversion in attention can cause accidents. Unless and until it’s a very urgent call, it’s better not to attend. There are some apps, which can respond to the incoming calls with an auto response that “The person you are calling is driving, please call after some time”. Such apps can make the driving smarter, than connecting the mobile to hands free or to car using blue tooth technology. While driving we have to take at most care because accidents can be happens due to negligence from both sides.
@Himanshugupta I do not agree with the idea of working while driving. You can as well do a lot of this before leaving for office , because all those facilities can be used at your home in a more safer way without that hazard of getting distracted from your main function of driving. The driving time actually should be used to mentally relax, listen to soft music, sooth your nerves and prepare yourself for the busy day ahead in the office. We should not become to paranoid about using every available minute to be in touch except may be in case of an emergency.
@prabhakar_deosthali, it is not really possible these days to use the time that we spent in the car driving to relax our mental and physical muscles due to all the traffic, especially in India. Some of my colleagues prefer to come by bus or auto instead. Now, instead one chose to come by car and hopefully there is a car pool then car can be used as an alternative connection point. All i am implying is that the smart car is more useful with connectivity.
It’s always better to consider smart car and smart phone separately. If we are using Smart car or smart phone separately and wisely, we can be a smart person. Otherwise, it would be over smartness, which can be ending up with tragedies. There are many apps for making our life smarter and simpler, but still nobody came up with any apps for saving a life and traumas.
As long as the interface is voice-driven and does not require the driver to use his hands to navigate through the system, I think the use of smartphone apps while driving is fairly safe. After all, people are used to listening to music and shows on their stereos. If that can't be a distraction, using the app via voice commands can also not be.
Taimoorz, hearing the music and talking over the phone are different. Hearing the music or any other activity is a one side action, that’s we are only listening. But talking over the phone is a duplex activity; we have to listen and to respond at a time. Most of the times we have to think or recollect certain things while talking. I think most of the time, this may be a distraction for driving.
@Jacob: Talking on the phone while driving is synonymous to talking to a person sitting next to you. There is not much risk in that. The distraction with phones come when the user has to look at the phone's screen or handle the phone's buttons while driving. If the interface is completely voice-driven, I think talking on the phone or using a smartphone app via voice commands is completely safe.
I think this comes down to a matter of personal ethics and the depth of the communication going on. A quick "Hey I'm running late, be there in 10 minutes" should be harmless so long as the attention remains on the road and around the vehicle. If someone is giving the equivalent of a webinar while driving, I'd be inclined to agree that the risk for distraction is much higher.
Remember, driving a vehicle safely requires a good defense too. There was a viral video out last winter that confronted the subject of texting while driving. Targeted at teenagers and parents, the public service campaign pointed out that even a seemingly harmless action of looking away from the dashboard for just 3-5 seconds can be fatal.
So if voice activation interfaces handle this liability, then fine. I guess I'd like to see the field safety results and real-world beta testing before making a firm conclusion.
You are right on all the points and I agree with Bruce's statement that
"a system that will allow drivers to dictate and send emails and text messages with voice-activated commands." is a helpful use of technology for on the go tele-commuting for short discussions. The risk of its abuse is the danger that we all face on the road by tired and distracted drivers.
@TaimoorZ, it’s all depends up on the way and how we are using the devices. When compare with using the mobile while driving, voice interaction applications are much useful. But again it depends up on whether such applications are required or not, while driving. It depends and differs from person to person.
"The rollout of the applications on an industry-wide scale could come to a halt if the standards problems do not get resolved in a few years, or if using smart applications turns out to be very unsafe"
I agree with your point. We need to test the apps from safety point of view before we roll-out those apps. May be we can have safety ratings for those apps.
For using smart phone apps in the cars whether by the driver or by the passenger, whether voice activated or gesture activated, safety is very critical. And this safety interlocks have to be built into the control system of the car. Because the bad drivers will be always bad drivers who care less for their as as the others on the street. In almost all the applications the safety interlock of being in a parking position will help the most. Like your Loo-break, snacks-break, lunch break, you can always take a communications break! The advantage of having all those gizmos in your car is that you will not be dependent on the road side infrastructure for this purpose.
If a driver in the UK is spotted using a mobile device whilst driving the police will issue a fixed penalty of $100 and 3 penalty points on the driver's license. 12 points means a total driving ban. The law in the UK is very strict concerning driving distractions so it will be very interesting to see how in-car apps develop in the UK car market.
With new voice activated smart phones and other gadgets which will allow a hands free operation , it may be difficult for the policemen to spot such offenders. hence it is much more a necessity that the technology itself prevents such smart appliances being used while the vehicle is in motion. The drivers must park their vehicle to be able use such applications.
@flyingscot, i think that the ban is to hold the mobile while driving but one can still use handsfree system. I might be wrong. But using handsfree system is as comparable to talking to the co-passanger.
Driving today requires a lot of attention to what is happening around the car. At 60 MPH you go 88 feet every second, so there is a real need to pay attention to the task of driving. Stopped in traffic is a bit different, but still plenty of chance to bash another car or run over a pedestrian if your attention wanders.
The distraction of using a phone is not just the pushing of buttons or holding the phone, it is mostly the concentration on a "full duplex" conversation. No degree of hands-free can change that part. The big problem is that a real big part of the carriers profit comes from people talking while driving, which the result is just like it was with cigarrettes for so many years. With that much profit in question, safety will never win.
So the short answer is NO, it is simply not possible to use a smart phone while driving safely.
Of course, one change that would inprove the safety a lot would be to change the communications mode to push-to-talk simplex. That is the mode used by commercial 2-way radio operators for years, and it has a much better safety record.
This issue is that in-car technology, whether it is driver-assistance, navigation, or audio-selection tools, must be safe. OEMs need to do more tests and be more transparent about what the hazards are. At the same time, enforcement of dangerous habits needs to be stepped up, at least in the United States and Western Europe where drivers all-to-often are seen talking with their phone held to their ear or texting, clearly putting the lives of others at risk.
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.