Study finds using Android Auto, Apple CarPlay can impair driving more than alcohol and...

midian182

Posts: 6,095   +50
Staff member

A simulator study undertaken by TRL on behalf of IAM Roadsmart—the UK’s largest independent road safety charity—the FIA, and the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund, showed how much drivers’ reaction times slowed based on different scenarios.

It typically takes an undistracted driver one second to react to something. That increases by 12 percent when they’re at the drink-drive limit, 21 percent if they’ve been using cannabis, and 35 percent if they’re texting. When using Android Auto (touch) it goes up to 53 percent, and Apple CarPlay is even higher—57 percent.

The study found that drivers interacting with their infotainment touch screens increase their vehicle’s stopping distance by between four and five car lengths. They also take their eyes off the road for up to 16 seconds while driving. “Participants underestimated by as much as 5 seconds the time they thought they spent looking away from the road when engaging with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay via touch control,” wrote IAM Roadsmart.

Additionally, drivers interacting with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay struggled to keep their vehicle’s position in a lane, swerving out of place by up to 21 inches. They also failed to maintain a constant speed and distance from the vehicle in front.

While using voice commands did improve reaction times compared with touching infotainment screens, this still increased the non-distracted time by 36 percent.

IAM Roadsmart is calling for further testing and the introduction of new industry standards for infotainment systems to help minimize driver distraction. It advises owners to use them in the safest possible way, including setting everything up before starting a journey.

Image credit: Hadrian via Shutterstock

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neeyik

Posts: 1,364   +1,477
Staff member
Out of the past 5 cars I've owned, 3 of them had touchscreen infotainment systems. I loathed every single one of them: give me a button or dial, any day. My last 2 cars, both Bimmers, have had simple rotary systems that (a) work and (b) work without me having constantly jab away at a screen, hoping that I actually hit the right area, while not mowing down dozens of pedestrians.
 
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m-tec

Posts: 89   +49
In the UK you cannot touch your phone in a car or you get fined. So they stick on a Rudy great touchscreen to distract you, genius!
 

cuerdc

Posts: 211   +62
So the two least dangerous of the lot carry the highest penalty and most dangerous ok to do. Maybe relax laws on drink driving and clamp down on using a in car stereo 😂
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,521   +1,810
DUH!
Too much "touch screen" on these cars today.
In the old "boomer" days, you could keep your eyes ON THE ROAD, while reaching for the
radio knob, volume, preset stations, heat, AC etc.
Now, it's all touch screen crap!
 
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p51d007

Posts: 2,521   +1,810
So the two least dangerous of the lot carry the highest penalty and most dangerous ok to do. Maybe relax laws on drink driving and clamp down on using a in car stereo 😂
Here's an idea. Before you can operate the car, you have to "prove you are not a robot" and click all the images that are a fire hydrant, traffic lights, bus, cars, motorcycles etc. LOL
 

brucek

Posts: 531   +619
TechSpot Elite
It'd be easy enough to make the screens non-interactive while the vehicle is in motion. I seldom touch mine while I'm actually driving, I've usually configured my map and playlist/podcast before starting.

I'm old enough to remember what it was like driving in a strange city before nav systems. Whether looking at a paper map or just for landmarks around you, it felt more dangerous than having the car speaking directions to you or glancing at the next turn info.
 
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ZedRM

Posts: 342   +180
Tech can be scary when you're trying to use it and drive at the same time. Thankfully carmakers let you turn the screens off.
They should not be there to begin with. Automaker engineers and execs should have more common sense and be more socially responsible.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,034   +1,200
They should not be there to begin with. Automaker engineers and execs should have more common sense and be more socially responsible.
No, common sense would be to buy a car without one or turn it off if you're so against it. Or speak with your wallet and/or contact your government. Until then, touch screens aren't going anywhere so unfortunately you're stuck.

My biggest gripe with touchscreens isn't that they are distracting, but the fact that means there are that many more expensive computers and sensors that can break.

Most common controls are physical buttons and knobs, so I'm willing to bet the people that are distracted are trying to do more complex actions while driving instead of pulling over or getting used to using them when they have free time.
 
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hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,034   +1,200
Exactly.

You're wrong about that. With laws going into effect all over the world limiting device use, car makers will be reverting back to the more traditional car system and accessory controls.
Except each car review I watch, I'm seeing more and more screen(s) spread across dashboards. One even has three screens. Teslas have nothing but screen, and they can't make the cars fast enough to meet demand.

So I don't believe the government is doing anything, because it's not foolish to trust drivers to drive responsibly.
 
It'd be easy enough to make the screens non-interactive while the vehicle is in motion. I seldom touch mine while I'm actually driving, I've usually configured my map and playlist/podcast before starting.

I'm old enough to remember what it was like driving in a strange city before nav systems. Whether looking at a paper map or just for landmarks around you, it felt more dangerous than having the car speaking directions to you or glancing at the next turn info.
Agree, I set my destinations before driving, and have already chosen a playlist on Spotify. If I need to make changes, I ask the person sitting beside me, or do so at a stop light or on the shoulder. If I want to skip a song or change the volume, I can do that from the steering wheel without taking my eyes off the road. Waze is a bit of an annoyance when they pop up a little window about obstructions with a "Not there", or "Thank" option, but I've learned to ignore that.

I read the method from the study now, and I don't think I'd perform these tasks while the vehicle's in motion.

1) Navigate through Spotify to play a specific song
2) Navigate BBC iPlayer app to listen to a specific radio station
3) Navigate to a specific place, nearest petrol station, nearest restaurant
4) Listen to a text message
5) Make a call

Link to full text of study:
https://iamwebsite.blob.core.window...ibrary/infotainmentsudy.pdf?sfvrsn=f4c6755c_6
 
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ZedRM

Posts: 342   +180
Thankfully carmakers let you turn the screens off.
While that is true, you lose the ability to adjust functions of the car's operation that would still be there if there were buttons, knobs, dials and levers you could feel your way around instead of a touch screen. Touch screens have their place. Motor vehicles are not one of them.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,034   +1,200
While that is true, you lose the ability to adjust functions of the car's operation that would still be there if there were buttons, knobs, dials and levers you could feel your way around instead of a touch screen. Touch screens have their place. Motor vehicles are not one of them.
Good luck making money selling cars without the screens.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 342   +180
Good luck making money selling cars without the screens.
Narrow-minded statement. There's a bunch of people here in this thread who have already stated their opposition to them. Buying a car without a touch screen is preferred for plenty of people.
 
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hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,034   +1,200
Narrow-minded statement. There's a bunch of people here in this thread who have already stated their opposition to them. Buying a car without a touch screen is preferred for plenty of people.
The people of the thread have spoken!
Touchscreens will be removed!
 

Stiqy

Posts: 65   +57
Narrow-minded statement. There's a bunch of people here in this thread who have already stated their opposition to them. Buying a car without a touch screen is preferred for plenty of people.
I held out as long as I could with models that had no screen. Finally just had to get one, there were pretty much no other options.
 
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