With cellphones, texting and other distractions blamed for several thousand traffic fatalities annually, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today introduced a new “Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving” that could effectively limit the fast-expanding world of so-called “connected car technologies.”
The announcement, ironically, came on the same day that leaders of the communications, automobile and digital technologies industries were gathering together in Detroit to discuss the latest in-car technologies and the way to expand infotainment and telematics revenues.
But one study disclosed at the conference raised the question of just how much more technology motorists really want to deal with when driving, suggesting there is surprisingly little support for apps-based systems that could put access to such social media services as Twitter and Facebook on the dashboard.
LaHood’s ambitious “Blueprint” aims to curb traffic fatalities caused by the use of cellphones and other technologies while driving. And though it does not specifically outline an outright ban it encourages more stringent state and local regulations – and provides $2.4 million in grants to assist police in catching distracted drivers.