Auto Tech

Jaguar connected car ad encouraged unsafe driving, watchdog says

An advert describing the Jaguar XE as "an extension of your office" has been pulled over for a ticking-off.

The 2017 Jaguar XE, one of today's increasingly high-tech cars.

Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

Advertising watchdogs have put the brakes on an ad encouraging you to multitask at the wheel of your Jaguar.

An advertorial published in The Guardian in September 2016, headlined "Drive time is no longer downtime", described the Jaguar XE sedan as "an extension of your office". Following two complaints, the UK's Advertising Standards Agency accepted that using hands-free equipment is not illegal, but that the work-related activities suggested in the ad were likely to distract a driver's attention and cause unsafe driving.

The ruling highlights concerns about increasingly connected cars and the things you can do while driving. Like many new cars, the XE has Wi-Fi and infotainment screens that connect to phone apps, as well as a heads-up display that projects directions and driving data onto the windscreen.

"We were disappointed that the ASA did not find the safety message in the campaign was prominent enough," a Jaguar spokesperson told me. "For all of the connected car technologies we offer our customers, we will always offer only what is safe to do whilst driving. The hands-free technology in the Jaguar XE has been developed and tested to allow users to put their phone safely and legally away, and to focus on the driving experience."