Transportation Secretary ‘LaHood fears spread of in-car technology’

Detroit News reports:

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is concerned that a host of technologies in new vehicles are distracting drivers.

“Some of these car manufacturers are putting all these gadgets and bells and whistles that are going to distract people — and we’re trying to get gadgets and bells and whistles out of their hands and out of their ears,” LaHood said Wednesday.

Ford CEO Alan Mullaly and TheHood LaHood have been emailing and you can expect Mulally to actively stay on top of the situation.Ford would be one of the hardest hit by any restrictions on in-vehicle toys connectivity as they have aggressively rolled out cutting edge in-vehicle technologies and are actively promoting the technologies as a major selling point.

The Transportation Department plans to issue regulations this year to discourage distracted driving. LaHood has made it a priority, saying he is on a “rampage” against the practice.

The adoption of advanced technologies in the vehicle has been ongoing since the introduction of the first car.  This latest wave of convergence is an inevitable evolution of the modern technological landscape and it would be an extreme folly for the government to impose restrictions that would attempt (and fail) to restrict the use of this technology.

The logical (and in my opinion, only) option is to work smartly to implement these technologies safely. The car companies and their suppliers should be painfully aware of this fact (and if they aren’t, they will be soon).

How about the car companies get together and outline some best practices and ‘guidelines’ based on actual data from actual research and we go from there (it’s possible this is happening and I don’t know about it … anyone?)? In the end it’s up to the drivers to be responsible when they are rolling through LaHood the neighborhood.

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