More and more cars are coming out that permit people to be connected to the Web from the front seat via Wi-Fi or 3G networks. The Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX, and Audi A6 are all examples of this. With these connections people will be able to stream videos, get up-to-the-minute traffic information, in addition to speak their text messages. These things all sound great, and we generally greet technological advancements with open arms but this make us ask the question: Is full connectivity in a moving vehicle the best thing?
Challenges of the Connected Car
The connected car is a little worrisome. It's well known that drivers become unfocused when they text or chat on cell phones while driving. This leads to accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that 80 % of all traffic accidents involve some kind of driver inattention within three seconds of a crash. If texting and cell phones are distracting to drivers, consider how distracted motorists will be when either they or a passenger is enjoying streaming video of a cat slipping off a kitchen counter.
Does Tech Distract Drivers?
Drivers must concentrate on the road. Anything that takes their attention away from it—regardless of whether it's chomping upon a fast-food burger or hunting for traffic information—can cause potentially fatal accidents. That's why the news that cars are on pace to become much more connected is welcomed with as much reluctance as anticipation.
Browsing the Web Inside Your Car
Motorists will soon be able to browse the Web and receive Facebook updates on in-car navigation screens. Automobiles might soon include short-range communication systems that will allow cars to connect to one another and to the infrastructure on which they are driving. This will send real-time road conditions along with other data to drivers.
As we said before, developments in technology ordinarily have us excited. But the biggest concern with the connected car is that, will increasing the amount of distractions increase the level of accidents? Car connectivity will bring lots of pleasure to travelers, especially on long commutes, but it’s important that drivers recognize the need to stay focused on the road no matter how cute that video of a baby monkey is.