Reducing Driving Distractions

Voice systems can reduce some types of distraction

It’s hard to resist the temptation to do two things at once, even when one of those things is driving. To make multitasking easier and safer, automakers and technology companies have provided drivers with the ability to use voice commands to operate smartphones and infotainment systems.

Voice systems do help drivers keep their eyes on the road when compared with manual interfaces, but they don’t eliminate visual distraction altogether, a new study by researchers from IIHS and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AgeLab shows. And when researchers compared embedded voice systems from two vehicle makes and the voice interface of a smartphone, they found considerable differences among the three in terms of the visual demand, time involved and accuracy.

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