(Emma Nay) From smart phones to refrigerators with built-in TVs, technology seems to be creeping up on to just about everything. In fact, technology giants like Google and Intel are bringing the power of the PC right on to the dashboard of a car. As if we didn’t have enough distractions on the road!
“Infotainment systems” is what they are called and they are supposedly going to be on the market this year. Infotainment systems have a variety of features including: 3D maps, HD videos, car and fuel information, and even the Internet. Even though some systems may prevent drivers from viewing videos while the car is in motion, drivers can still access information on the Internet, such as news articles and social media.
I guess these technology giants thought it would be a great idea to bring smart phone-like applications to the dashboard without considering the consequences. “Unfortunately and sadly, it is a continuation of the pursuit of profit over safety — for both drivers and pedestrians,” says Nicholas A. Ashford, a professor of technology and policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
I could only imagine if I bought a new car with a built-in infotainment system. Let’s say I wanted to head over to a local restaurant to celebrate my new purchase. I wanted to see some reviews of this restaurant before I head out but didn’t have enough time to look them up at home. I could easily press a button on the 10-inch screen above my gearshift to access the Internet and find out what this restaurant is all about. Add that to another list of things that could be distracting me behind the wheel (such as my smart phone vibrating uncontrollably, my beverage spilling all over the place, or some friends that are chatting away in the back seat) and before you know it, I’m in a wreck, or hopefully just a fender bender!
Needless to say, I’m probably going to stick with my simple Jeep and leave these infotainment systems to the tech fanatics. As much as a safe driver as I am (knock on wood), I really would not want to jeopardize my safety over something so unnecessary.