Apple’s CarPlay takes the boredom out of driving. CarPlay will hopefully remedy that long commute. Soon, CarPlay will come standard in future lines of Ferrari, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz cars. Get ready to use hand free phone or convenient buttons within reach. Play downloaded music, listen to an audible book, dictate those text and email messages with the help of Siri that can also bring up map directions. Currently drivers use headphones or connect their iPhones or other devices to the car’s radio for such creature comforts. Auto makers such as Ford, GM, and Honda most likely waiting for the initial pricing to come down before adding a similar features to their vehicles.
CarPlay requires an iPhone 5, or better yet, with iOS7. There was no estimate to the cost for adding the feature. Apple did not discuss any monthly service fees associated with CarPlay. Their main goal is to bring hand free amenities to higher end drivers that would allow them to talk, text or email while driving. For Apple, they sell relevant technology and find new ways to create revenue. Driving is boring without music and more tedious when there are radio station commercials and Sirus is not an option.
Safety researchers from places such as Texas A&M, the University of Utah, and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety had a different take on driving. They found the idea of doing anything other than driving with two hands on the wheel at the nine and three o’clock positions and regularly checking the right, left, and center mirrors for traffic with no music playing and no distractions is the only reliable way to operate a vehicle.
For these groups, there is no such thing as hands-free driving, just drivers who think they are paying attention to the road when they more concerned about talking on the phone, texting or dealing with children in the back seat. Only the widespread adoption of crash-avoidance systems will be the best solution on for distracted drivers. That means both hands on the wheel, stop drinking coffee, and pay attention to traffic. Government statistics cited 3,328 people killed by distracted drivers and more than 421,000 injured in accidents in 2012. Apple’s CarPlay takes the boredom out of driving? Not to someone devoted to road safety.
One group wants people to travel with a degree of entertainment such as CarPlay where some form of productivity can be conducted. The safety advocates prefer drivers not taking the risk of getting in a car with all the available hazards of CarPlay, cup holders for coffee, and gasp, farding—the application of cosmetics while driving.
Why not work from home? It would cut back on traffic and save cities such as Los Angeles from smog. The commute would be only a few feet. People can work in their bathrobes and bunny slippers after sending the kids off to school—just make sure the computer camera is not on during the meetings. Another idea would be to only use public transportation or require people to be within walking distance from work. Think of all the gas and smog that can be avoided. Until there is a car that can self navigate itself, something like that is coming, just give Google more time, there is no way of making the safety advocates happy with people behind the wheel of the car. Apple’s CarPlay takes the boredom out of driving.
Opinion By Brian T. Yates