Today, a new report published by the AAA states that three out of four drivers believe that hands-free technology is safe to use, yet Americans may be surprised to learn that these popular new vehicle features may actually increase mental distraction, according to new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The study appears to throw Apple's Siri technology into the report as an afterthought and does so in a negative light. Is it fair? You be the judge.
Further into the AAA report, they state that "The study also separately assessed Apple's Siri (version iOS 7) using insight obtained from Apple about Siri's functionality at the time the research was conducted. Researchers used the same metrics to measure a broader range of tasks including using social media, sending texts and updating calendars. The research uncovered that hands-and-eyes-free use of Apple's Siri generated a relatively high category 4 level of mental distraction."
The report further stated that "To put all of this year's findings in context, last year's research revealed that listening to the radio rated as a category 1 distraction; talking on a hand-held or hands-free cell phone resulted in a category 2 distraction; and using an error-free speech-to-text system to listen to and compose emails or texts was a category 3 distraction."
Technologies used in the car that rely on voice communications may have unintended consequences that adversely affect road safety," said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. "The level of distraction and the impact on safety can vary tremendously based on the task or the system the driver is using."
Bob Darbelnet, chief executive officer of AAA did admit that "It is clear that not all voice systems are created equal, and today's imperfect systems can lead to driver distraction."
Yet that really doesn't cut it for throwing Apple's Siri into the mix without basing it on Apple's new CarPlay. The study never mentions testing Apple new system that is being integrated by most major car manufacturers. A Consumers report published earlier this year found that "Infotainment Systems Are Too Damn complicated." So that's not new. That's what Apple's CarPlay is to change.
So while the AAA report throws Apple into their report, I'm not sure it was fairly assessed in respect to Apple's new CarPlay. What are your thoughts on this?