Turning the car into a smart phone | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Turning the car into a smart phone

Posted By on Sun, Feb 27, 2011 at 8:09 AM

FORDS MYTOUCH: Driving to distraction?
  • FORD'S MYTOUCH: Driving to distraction?
Interesting column by Maureen Dowd this morning on her visit to Ford Motors to see its new inventions to load car dashboards with the means to run iPods, handle texts and emails and more. In theory, the company is devising ways to operate such devices safely while never losing the growing addiction of connectivity. I don't think it can be done and neither does Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood:

Ray LaHood, the secretary of transportation, is livid about the dashboard bells and whistles. When he saw a Ford ad with a bubbly young woman named Kelly using the new souped-up system to gab on the phone hands-free and not paying attention to the road, he called Alan Mulally, the president and C.E.O of Ford.

“I said to him, ‘That girl looks so distracted, it belies belief that this is what you want in terms of safety,’ ” LaHood told me. “Putting entertainment centers in automobiles does not contribute to safe driving. When you’re trying to update your Facebook or put out a tweet, it’s a distraction.”

He said he would compile his own statistics, meet with car executives and use the bully pulpit. “We’ll see what the auto companies can do voluntarily and what we need to do otherwise,” he said. “I don’t think drivers should be doing any of that.”

Will the world really end if you don't check your phone for an hour or two between highway stops? Your world might end prematurely if you do.

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