Siri is My Co-Pilot: Is Apple’s New CarPlay System More Dangerous than Helpful?

Apple has recently announced that they will be releasing CarPlay, an in-car infotainment system driven by Siri. This announcement comes on the heels of a similar Android announcement regarding several major car brands. While many are excited, others believe these developments could pose significant safety risks. Generally, the purpose of these types of systems are to make things easier for the driver, so that devices cause less distractions. Many of these features are truly helpful, however, there are some components of the system that could actually jeopardize the safety of the driver and passengers. Below are a few concerns that skeptics have about how safe the CarPlay system truly is.

Studies Show Voice Control Actually Distracts

Studies have shown that trying to direct a vehicle through voice-control systems is actually far more dangerous than trying to text or call someone on the phone. This is because the driver has to struggle to be understood, and can easily get distracted or even frustrated. CarPlay will run on Siri and be a primarily voice-controlled system, and thus could present significant distractions to drivers.

Added Functionality = Added Distractions

The CarPlay system will be more than a simple in-car entertainment system; it will have many features through the iOS. The more users are able to do in their car the more they will be tempted to do. They may begin using applications within their car or they may become distracted by the information being played. If drivers can learn to properly manage the system before they start driving or when the car is stopped, there will be less accidents, but those who try to multitask with this system pose a threat on the road.

Less Restriction on Entertainment

While there are restrictions on mobile device use, there aren’t similar restrictions on in-car entertainment systems such as CarPlay. Thus, drivers may be able to do increasingly dangerous tasks on their CarPlay systems without any intervention from the law. As it stands, laws are one of the few things keeping many people from texting or using their phones while driving — a lack of similar laws for the CarPlay device could lead to chaos.

The Complexity

In the past, in-car entertainment has been fairly simple. Simple systems work more consistently. A more advanced system such as the CarPlay may be more likely to freeze or even crash. This could lead to issues as drivers attempt to use it to navigate or for calls and information. Again, this will depend on the judgment the driver uses. Some drivers will pull to the side of the road to fix such problems, however, others will try to multitask.

Eyes On the Road

By being integrated directly to the vehicle’s display, CarPlay could take the focus of the drivers off the road and onto the console. With as many features and complexities as CarPlay is slated to have, it may be very difficult to take your eyes off of it. While some people argue that having information displayed on the console is safer than someone looking down at their phone, having the display on the console will still pull the driver’s eyes away from the road.

While CarPlay is currently seen as a major step ahead for the automotive industry, it may also be a dangerous one. Luckily, drivers with CarPlay can protect themselves by ensuring that they never drive distracted and that they pull over any time they need to complete a complex task. Surely new developments for the system will emerge, and possibly new legal regulations will pop up because of the safety threats. Information for this article was provided by the professionals of Ecology Auto Parts, who provide used auto parts in Los Angeles.

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