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Driving while texting: A hands-free answer

Automotive News reports ATX Group's new service for letting driver's dictate text messages.

Automotive News

According to some studies, about a quarter of U.S. motorists send text messages while driving. So why not make it safer?

That's the idea behind an upcoming service from telematics service provider ATX Group. ATX plans to introduce hands-free text messaging by voice.

According to ATX, of Dallas, its system, which uses existing speech-recognition technology, will allow people to dictate customized messages with minimal driver distraction.

Other in-vehicle communications systems read text messages aloud to drivers. And some, such as Ford's Sync, allow drivers to send texts--though only from a menu of scripted messages.

Don't look for telematics leader OnStar to jump on the bandwagon. "Our focus remains firmly on safety and security and in-vehicle communications, " says spokesman Jim Kobus.

ATX provides technology for Toyota, Lexus, BMW, Peugeot, Mercedes-Benz, Maybach, and Rolls-Royce.

(Source: Automotive News)