Monday, March 28, 2016

An Alternative to Texting and Driving?

Improvements in technology are causing innovations to be made in cars. While this is necessary, it can also be very dangerous. With growth in both technology and social media, there are more distractions than ever for drivers on the road. In these articles, we read about the development of Ford Sync and the innovations made in cars to accommodate for the improvements in technology. Ford sync was made by Ford and Microsoft after four years of work. Its purpose is to allow drivers to sync their smart phones with their cars so the car can read them their text messages and tweets without the driver having to physically pick up their phone and look at it.

A point in the article “Connected cars: The Fine Line Between Innovation and Distraction” by Todd Wasserman that caught my attention was that the article doesn’t mention if the car can sync with people of all phone types. It gives an example involving an Apple iPhone but it doesn’t mention if phones such as Droids or Samsung Galaxy’s could sync with their system. This is a problem for non-iPhone users and it may even turn them away from buying the car in the first place.
Another point that caught my attention was that these features are directed to the younger generations that are more adept with technology. The article failed to mention was how usable is it to older people that aren’t as caught up in the technological world as the younger kids in our generation. This is a great feature but some older people barely know how to use their phones in the first place so how will they be expected to be able to connect their phone to their car and use the future to its full potential.
A point that I liked in this article is that hands free texting is actually a very good alternative to the situation we have today with people texting and driving all of the time. People are going to text and drive whether they have hands free access or not so this is a better alternative than how it is now. This point is supported in the article “Some cars will read texts and e-mails or take dictation” by Jayne O’Donnell when Tom Baloga, a retired engineering VP of BMW, says "Lack of cup holders doesn't separate drivers from their coffee. Expecting all drivers to endure smartphone withdrawal is unrealistic."
Something I think the articles overlooked was whether these additions to the cars could actually promote texting and driving or tweeting and driving. Does it make drivers even more distracted now that they can assess everything on their phones without having to physically hold it?


  1. Rich, this is a very interesting article and as you said it seems to be directed towards the younger generation. I do agree with you that this new technology could promote a driver to text or tweet while driving, I also see it being very beneficial to the working person or even a parent. This technology could make life easier for someone commuting to work and running late. As well, it could make life easier for parents while carpooling their children perhaps. With that said, as a college student I do see a lot of risk along with this technology for young drivers. Newly licensed drivers have a lot to learn about the roads, I think this new tech could distract them even more than everything new in front of them on the road. In my opinion, I think this tech should simply come down to the person paying the bills for the vehicle and whether they want this technology or not.

  2. I really liked reading this blog because I think it makes some very interesting points regarding improvements in technology in cars. This is especially important for us because drivers our age are thought to be the main culprits of distracted driving such as texting and driving or tweeting and driving. These articles were created in the hope of improving these situations. Like Kolby said in his comment, I also agree that the articles seem to be directed towards the younger generations and the people that are more adept with using technology. To be more appealing to the general population I think the articles should talk to a larger age range of people. I see both advantages and disadvantages to this new innovation and I think that they are steps in the right direction when talking about dangerous drivers and trying to make the roads safer. I also believe that they should continue to improve and modify this sync system to ensure both the highest level of safety and the most efficiency possible. If they are able to master this system I believe the roads will be much safer in the coming years and they could lead to more improvements in safety in the future.

  3. Rich, this is a fascinating article to me. As we progress in the age of technology, the problem of texting and driving has become extremely prevalent. While reading your blog, I thought to myself that the innovation of hands free texting while driving must be a safe alternative to hands on texting. However, upon further research, this is not the case. According to, a study was done that resulted in the discovery that drivers texting without their hands were just as distracted as drivers who texted with their hands. This discovery greatly concerned me. However, I do agree with your point that these additions to cars only really appeal to the younger generation. I think that it would benefit the car dealers greatly if they were able to reach out to the general population. Overall, this was a very interesting article that really got me thinking about the direction that vehicle safety is headed.



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