With the increasing trend in constant connectivity, car manufacturers are struggling with how they should go about making their vehicles safer. In the recent New York Times article “Have You Driven a Smartphone Lately”, the topic of digitally equipped cars is explored. Ford, Chrysler, Chevy, and other car manufacturers have recently begun experimenting with cars that can, in essence, function as smartphones. These companies are experimenting with new car prototypes that can read e-mail, tweets, and Facebook statuses to drivers. These features are designed to keep drivers’ eyes on the road and off of their cell phones.
While these devices are designed to increase car safety, many in the automotive field are worried that they will have the exact opposite effect. According to the New York Times article, Ray LaHood, the secretary of transportation, is particularly worried about these changes in car design and plans to compile his own statistics on the matter.
Do we really want to build social technology into our cars? Wouldn’t encouraging people to simply put down their phones while driving be better? While there will always be people abusing constant connectivity, should we make this even easier for them by building it into cars?