Cooley On Cars
Web on the go is a no-noCNET's Brian Cooley takes a look at the technology that allow drivers to access the Web while driving and how it increases the risks of distracted driving.
-First, it was calling while driving. -Hello. -Then, texting while driving. Now, the concern is webbing and just about everything else while driving. Browsing the web and using apps and such on your smartphone or even tablet while you're at the wheel. According to our partners at State Farm, about 1 in 5 people admit to surfing the net while driving, and that was of November 2010. Since then, smartphone penetration in the U.S. has grown a lot. Maps and directions, restaurant reviews, social networks, news, these are among the lures. CNET has found a variety of car tech approaches to lessen them. -Please say a command. -Listen to message. -For example, some cars could retext to you. -Where are you? We thought you would be here by now. -And then let you reply with a can response. -Reply to message. -Say the line number of the message you want to send. -Line 2. -Others bring in Facebook and Twitter updates but pair them way down to the basics and again, handle them back and forth with voice. More and more nab systems now just put the next instruction you need in the instrument panel display. -Now, take a left. -Or even on a head-up display on the windshield right in front of you and increasingly, you can use your ears instead of your eyes. -Continue on Washington Boulevard for 400 feet. -Okay. Here we go on the road. -When I use navigation on my phone app, I turn the screen off and just listen for the voice prompt. E-mail remains a tricky one since it very so widely in format, complexity, attachments and how infuriating the content might be. No tech is really made that safer. So, just leave it alone. Bottom line, there's been a quantum leap in interactive driving distraction and any current tech that promises to neutralize that is kidding because the real problem remains mind distraction, not hands or eyes.