The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study found using the voice-controlled system in cars that syncs to smartphones can distract drivers long enough to go not one football field, but three, once they’ve finished using it, reports CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave.
The three crises that rollicked the auto industry in recent months – a rising death toll related to the General Motors ignition-switch defect, the Jeep Cherokee hack and now the Volkswagen cheating scandal – all have one thing in common. Outsiders discovered the problems.
Shwetak N. Patel looked over the 2013 Mercedes C300 and saw not a sporty all-wheel-drive sedan, but a bundle of technology.
There were the obvious features, like a roadside assistance service that communicates to a satellite. But Dr. Patel, a computer science professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, flipped up the hood to show the real brains of the operation: the engine control unit, a computer attached to the side of the motor that governs performance, fuel efficiency and emissions.
A Columbia University law professor stood in a hotel lobby one morning and noticed a sign apologizing for an elevator that was out of order. It had dropped unexpectedly three stories a few days earlier. The professor, Eben Moglen, tried to imagine what the world would be like if elevators were not built so that people could inspect them.
Mr. Moglen was on his way to give a talk about the dangers of secret code, known as proprietary software, that controls more and more devices every day.
Many motorists have no idea that despite the best efforts of government, automobile manufacturers, and safety advocates, todays cars and trucks are now more dangerous than they used to be. Yes, they are designed to be safer but ironically, the cyber technology used to make them so is also the same technology that makes them more dangerous.