National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator David Strickland said last week that he will fight unsafe infotainment technology that is simply converting vehicles into smartphones with four wheels.
“I’m just putting everyone on notice. A car is not a mobile device,” Strickland said. “I’m not in the business of helping people tweet better. I’m not in the business of helping people post on Facebook better.”
While Strickland said he supports in-car infotainment that help drivers and automakers diagnose mechanical problems, he said that there is a difference between technology that enhances the safety of a vehicle and one that distracts people from the road.
“It’s OK not to be connected when you’re operating a car,” Strickland said. “I’m not going to dispute that people want these services. They do.”
When asked about Google’s driverless car, Strickland said: “I was out at Google’s headquarters a few months ago. It is fantastic the amount of work they have done, but it is not foolproof,” Strickland said. “I just don’t think the American public is ready for that.”
Strickland and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood have told automakers, wireless providers and software developers that minimizing driver distraction is a top priority.
– By: Omar Rana