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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Earlier this week, Apple announced its new CarPlay technology, which opens the door for easier hands-free calling, text messaging and navigation while driving. Consumers may be enthusiastic about this in-car technology, but auto safety experts are concerned about its contribution to distracted driving, reports CNN Money.
"The idea that people want to be on their phones, and therefore let's give them a way to do that -- that's not putting safety first, that's putting convenience and the desire to be in touch first," said Bruce Hamilton, manager of research and communications at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety."
Siri may allow for hands- and eyes-free interaction with a phone, but experts argue it still contributes to "cognitive distraction," which moves a driver's attention away from their driving and onto their phone. Recent studies have shown that the voice-to-text features included in personal assistant software such as Siri carry an "extensive risk" of distracted driving and have the potential to double driver reaction times.

Apple is aware of these distracted driving concerns and notes in a press release that Siri minimizes distraction by allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road.
"CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing. "iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction."
Apple's CarPlay technology is similar to existing in-dash smartphone systems in terms of driver attention, but these concerns over distracted driving are getting renewed attention because of Apple's high-profile launch.

Apple's CarPlay will be available as an update to iOS 7 for iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5 owners. It will debut in 2014 models from major automobile manufacturers such as Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai and others.

Article Link: Auto Safety Experts Concerned About CarPlay and Distracted Driving


macrumors member
Aug 15, 2013
In the midst of it
Why don't we find a way to stop texting while driving first. I see that way on the road than adjusting on-screen technology in the car. Just my thought


macrumors regular
May 14, 2012
True. But it's still better than the solutions we have now so it's only improvement, dear safety experts?


macrumors 68030
Oct 2, 2007
we need to also remove heating and cooling knobs, radios and anything else.

Yes, distractions but distractions that are "in-dash" and thus closer to the windshield...whereas sneaking a look on a phone is more distracting and not always near the windshield view because in some cases it is illegal.


macrumors member
Jul 21, 2011
Where will it end? By this train of thought we should ban radios / buttons on steering wheels / climate control knobs etc etc.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2010
Fort Wayne, IN
I have a hard time seeing how Carplay will be any more distracting than a Garmin, or radio knobs or station buttons, etc. Assuming that you won't be able to watch youtube videos or text via the interface, it likely won't create any additional hazard, and in fact may keep people's posture such that at least they might be able to detect movement in their periphery.

Personally, I welcome the technology.


macrumors regular
Nov 21, 2009
A system that takes forever to fiddle with and get to work is the biggest distraction. If this works seamlessly, I think it will be better than what people are doing now.


macrumors newbie
Mar 5, 2014

Auto safety experts were worried about windshield wipers too, that they might have hypnotic effect when driving. It's an untested technology like wipers were at the time.


macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
long island NY
So what they are saying is they rather have someone drive with one hand while digging through their pocket for the phone with the other hand? It's better to look down at a phone to dial a # rather than looking forward? Its better to drive with one hand because you are using the other to hold the phone for navigation? LOL, ok.


macrumors regular
Nov 3, 2012
Maybe the Messages application should not be included in Carplay, but other than that how is Carplay any different than current touch screen radio/GPS in terms of safety?

William Gates

macrumors 6502
Oct 26, 2007
Ford implements SYNC by Microsoft and Ford MyTouch, and nothing from the safety boards get said. Ford says they're going to switch to QNX and nothing from the safety boards gets said. We have radios and climate control and GPS and nothing gets said. Some car manufacturers get on board with Android via Mirralink (sp) and nothing gets said. Google lobbies to allow drivers to wear google glass while driving, and hardly anything gets said.

Apple takes tech that exists in vehicles already and makes it easier/simpler and all of a sudden the safety boards are speaking out against it.

Makes sense.


macrumors newbie
Oct 15, 2007
"The idea that people want to be on their phones, and therefore let's give them a way to do that -- that's not putting safety first, that's putting convenience and the desire to be in touch first"

Well, what about the alternative? People looking down and using their phones while they drive. People don't want to be off the grid just because they are in the car. A easy to use and intuitive system is the way to go, not sticking your head in the sand and act as if there is no need for a service like this.


macrumors regular
Aug 4, 2011
So what they are saying is they rather have someone drive with one hand while digging through their pocket for the phone with the other hand? It's better to look down at a phone to dial a # rather than looking forward? Its better to drive with one hand because you are using the other to hold the phone for navigation? LOL, ok.

If you are driving, don't play with the phone... you may not care, but the people surrounding you will thank you


macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2009
This is just another instance of whatever group riding the press of Apple on their particular soap-box. Touch ID brought identity concerns. CarPlay and safety concerns. Car makers have been placing technology in the dash for over 2 decades to distract drivers. This too shall pass . . .


macrumors newbie
Nov 7, 2011
The way I see it, people are going to drive and talk on the phone, message, and fumble with music no matter what the laws are or if its safe. I'm not saying its right, but people will do it.
I'd much prefer see a drive use Carplay and voice commands than to see someone with their phone to the ear and a hand off the steering wheel.

Regardless, self driving cars are a comin' and hopefully this will be irrelevant in 5-10 years


macrumors 68000
Dec 13, 2010
They should make it like the Range Rovers and make the screen controls invisible to the driver while allowing the passenger to see it.


macrumors 68020
Jul 1, 2009
It's because Apple is doing it now. Remember the uproar and letters from Senators when Apple was taking your fingerprint on the iPhone 5s? Where was that when IBM Thinkpads added fingerprint sensors to laptops? How about now that the Galaxy S5 has a fingerprint sensor?

Also, where was the uproar when cars added navigation systems? How about when Ford introduced Sync with Microsoft? Nothing but crickets for Apple's competitors, but as soon as Apple integrates something there is a huge uproar.

Granted, Google got an uproar on safety of using Glass while driving, but clearly looking up at tiny screen and trying to focus on that while driving is a major issue. It specifically causes you to narrow your focus on a tiny area that is not the road in front of you. If Glass was more like augmented reality with the entire field of vision being augmented with overlays, then it would be much safer to use while driving (and I am pretty sure Google wants to go there anyway).

Doctor Q

Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
Los Angeles
So maybe they want to make talking to your passengers illegal also? :mad:
They already did. Research shows that young/new drivers can be much more easily distracted by other teens in the car, which is why there are laws that, for example, require that drivers under 18 cannot drive with passengers under 20 for the first year under their license, unless a parent or guardian is also in the car.

Research shows what distracts us least and what distracts us most, e.g., most people can talk to passengers safely and listen to the radio safely, but their abilities are impaired when talking on the phone. CarPlay may solve the problem of fumbling with hardware but it's still subject to the problems of distraction that we already have.

I take these dangers seriously. I love technology but I've almost been hit by distracted drivers three times while I was riding my bike and once while I was walking in a crosswalk on a green light. Pay attention, drivers!


macrumors newbie
Sep 7, 2005
I would say that having a unified experience where the in-dash works JUST like i am use to with the iPhone then I'd be more adept execute the task in a fraction of the time and maintain focus on driving.

When factory in-dash systems are 5 year old technology (most cars are years behind ) there a cognitive load to mentally and clumsily operate the thing when the iOS users intuitively already know their iPhone don't have to learn and mentally switch to operating some other OS.

I remember after a few hours of owning my first iPhone i got in my SUV and tried to pinch & zoom the maps on the Nav system - and of course you couldn't' - no multi touch, and you had to point and hold and wait for the map to recenter, wasn't driving but that could easily take your eyes of the road for several seconds


macrumors 6502
Feb 8, 2013
New York
In other news, BlackBerry, Google and Microsoft together announced an alliance today, funding the nation’s largest association of Auto Safety Experts.
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