December 14, 2011

Cost of Driver Distraction - Garmin System On Top

Interesting article in the WSJ this morning about driver distraction, and how auto manufacturers are trying to combat distraction while making their vehicles more feature laden at the same time. The struggle is tough; in an age of connectedness, people demand more, but the costs can be high, as thousands of people die each year in the US due to driver distraction.

This past summer, David Strickland, of the Department of transportation clarified his role when speaking to a group at a Telematics conference, "I am not here to help you Tweet better, I am not here to help people post on Facebook better. It's not my job." He went on to explain how the Department of Transportation will be clarifying the rule making process that is moving through its paces.

15 Seconds.... How long is That?

Auto makers have adopted a guideline that it should take no more than 15 seconds to accomplish a task while driving. With the advent of in-dash systems, especially navigation, it might take at least 15 seconds to accomplish a destination entry. Natural voice recognition systems are on their way to most vehicles to help solve the issue. While 15 seconds might not seem like a lot of time normally, that's over a quarter of a mile at highway speeds.


Ford learned recently with their rollout of the My ford Touch system that not only is distraction an issue, but so is quality and customer satisfaction. If people can't use the system, they won't rate you high for satisfaction, and the perception might be that the system is broken, leading to lower quality scores. They said in the article that they are moving their touchscreen radio system from 5 font sizes to two in an attempt to be easier to see and use.

Chrysler came out on top for JD Power ratings of navigation systems on its Dodge Charger. Why? It's familiar, well laid out, well tested, and it's powered by Garmin. The interface is simple, well known and familiar.

Take a read, and see what you think. Will voice recognition systems at the quality level of Siri help reduce the issue, or are we damned to a world where the ever expanding list of features runs faster than the ease of use quality can go?

Full article at WSJ

Read More in: GPS News | Garmin GPS News

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Posted by Scott Martin at December 14, 2011 6:04 AM

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