Staying plugged in — whether at the office, on vacation, or even in your vehicle — has become the new normal, and carmakers may be helping to fuel Americans’ addiction to their smartphones.
Vehicle voice recognition systems make it easy for drivers to respond to text messages and calls. In some cases, a driver’s cellphone can be duplicated on the vehicle’s screen, transforming the vehicle into a personal app library. The number of USB charging ports in a vehicle has even become a badge of honor for automakers (the more, the better).
But infotainment centers and voice technology — developed in part to allow motorists to interact with their phones hands-free — are now becoming a distraction, some experts say.
Luxury carmaker Lexus not only added Android Auto to its 2020 RX sport-utility vehicle, but the company’s designers also carved out a designated space near the center console to safely store smartphones. Lexus said its 2020 models deliver “technology at the speed of life.”
Chad Deschenes, Lexus’ technical training senior analyst, said the company is giving customers what they want.
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