An investigation by Which? has concluded that in-car technology such as touch-screens, integrated phones and sat-navs has the potential to distract drivers. The publisher is calling on the Government to intervene and provide strong guidance to vehicle manufacturers.
Which? tested the systems of eight of the UK’s bestselling car makers and found many features difficult to use while driving. Although technology used by some car companies performed very well, others have work to do to ensure their systems pose as little distraction as possible to motorists.
Which? has created an ‘in-car technology charter’, with a 10-point checklist, to make systems less distracting. The publisher plans to discuss the charter with the Government, road safety bodies and car makers in the coming months.
Richard Headland, Which? Car editor, says: “We found that the sheer number of ways to carry out simple tasks in the cars was baffling, and crying out to be simplified.
“We know people want systems in their car that integrate audio, phone, satnav and other functions, but it’s time for the Government to step in and provide some strong guidance to focus car makers on creating less distracting systems.”
Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “We welcome this report which highlights the need for more consistent design standards for in car systems.
“Manufacturers must work together and be prepared to sacrifice that unique selling point or competitive advantage in new technology to help reduce confusion. Drivers changing or hiring cars also need to take time and advice to fully understand how to use their new car safely. Crash protection in cars has never been better, but we must all work together to make sure in car systems don’t undermine these gains.”
For more information contact Ben Wicks, Which? assistant press officer, on 020 7770 7562.