CAR Conference Focuses on Safety Needs

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Detroit Free Press - September 29, 2012

Center for Automotive Research (CAR) conference brought experts together to discuss safety and connectivity concerns in today’s cars, focusing on the tension automakers and technology companies face.

Find out what the experts came up with.

Drivers won’t deactivate their digital devices when they get into a car, so automakers must offer safe ways for them to continue communicating, several experts suggested Friday.

Parrish Hanna, Ford’s global director of human machine interface, said the industry must “draw some lines in the sand” and determine whether it should try to disable certain actions in the vehicle.

“All distractions are not created equal,” Hanna said. “Talking to a passenger, having a conversation in a car, glancing outside a vehicle at everything around you, being aware of occupants are significantly less dangerous than reading a paper or personal grooming.”

The experts agreed that texting while driving is the most disturbing trend in the vehicle. But legislative bans are only as effective as the level of enforcement.

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