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Apple’s new CarPlay? It might just be unsafe at any speed

So I somehow managed to bump into a very nice lady’s car this week in the parking lot of Panera Bread at Cosner’s Corner while going about 2 miles per hour.

This will never, ever happen again. But if it did, I might be able to blame it on the distraction of CarPlay, which sounds much more exciting than it really is.

Apple CarPlay raised distracted driving concerns when it was unveiled in new Volvo, Mercedes and Jaguar vehicles at a car show in Geneva this week. It’s expected to be available from other carmakers before long.

CarPlay is in-dash IOS 7, including—ugh—Apple Maps.

It essentially mirrors the screen of your iPhone on the in-dash display of the car’s existing infotainment center. One major difference is a messaging app that doesn’t display text, instead having Siri read messages.

Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing, said in a statement: “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction.”

Still, groups like the National Safety Council are expressing concern that in-dash iOS and Android will create more distraction, not lessen it.

Of course, we should never text while driving and avoid talking on the phone while driving, even using Bluetooth. Studies have shown that talking on a cellphone hands-free is just as dangerous.

The safest thing would be not to have the radio on in the car while driving, not to talk to passengers while driving or not to eat tacos while driving.

My fear would be that at some point in the future, CarPlay might allow Siri to comment on (my) driving, which would really, really be distracting.

Even if it didn’t cause an accident, play by play by Siri would’ve made this week’s embarrassing incident worse.

“Don’t pull out that way! What the heck are you looking at? Didn’t you hear me? Cut it back! Look out! [Crunching sound] Ohhh!! Nice driving, ace!”

Anyway, I was driving my wife’s car. So when I got home, Siri could have shouted a warning from the garage:

“Look out for that frying pan! Look out! Look out! Duck! [Clanging sound] Ohhh!! I told you to duck!”

Michael Zitz lives in Spotsylvania County.

mzbeckham@gmail.com

 

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/business/2014/03/08/apples-new-carplay-it-might-just-be-unsafe-at-any-speed/