Comments
  • Mouhamad A. Naboulsi January 17, 2010 at 8:47 am

    You put so much in there that I can right a thesis in support of your concern and to debunk the entire BS excuses from the Automotive OEM. Let me start by the claim that drivers can control anything using speech recognition. Under the title, How Telematics Can Help Prevent Driver Distraction, Analysts say that Speech recognition is 70% accurate at best and as low as 11% for Ford Sync. (http://social.telematicsupdate.com/industry-insight/how-telematics-can-help-prevent-driver-distraction). From my experience, in the Automotive and Safety arena, if a vehicle feature is not reliable, a driver will have to overcome their anxiety to use the system and wait for the failure. This by itself is stressful enough to cause accidents. If you go to http://actplace.net/Articles/CompetitionsFailure…. you will see titles of articles related to speech recognition effect on safe driving and you will see video reviews of main stream vehicles being tested by third party that shows that speech recognition can not work in real driving conditions and will cause drivers to look away from the road while driving.

    As for the “Voluntary Testing”, it is “Really Voluntary” and from my experience, this means that if anyone tried to tighten the specs, he will be in trouble so I will not put any value into their claims particularly that I know that what they are interested in the flashy features to bring the buyers in. They actually go and higher university researchers and non profit organizations to excuse their voluntary standard that are always based on simulator data where scenarios are made to be favorable to the test being run (YES, IT IS CHEATING). Whether the driver is going to learn from his first mistake and stop using these features or whether he will continue using them until he crashes, is really viewed as not their problem.

    On the other extreme is the National Safety Counsel with their Simulator based studies that already been discredited because it was proven that it has no relation to real world driving. They are intentionally avoiding data that can decrease and possibly eliminate these deaths. Their focus on banning use of technology in the vehicle, (throwing out the baby with the water), is the dangerous distraction here and it is distracting the rest of the country from finding a technical solution that can modulate the use of the phone with safe driving.

    The causes of Accidents as highlighted by Virginia Tech research is Eyes Off the Roads and Hands off the wheel. So when a person is handling the phone or the MP3 player or even the built in radio manually, he is at a higher risk of accident because, “eyes are off the road and hands are off the wheel”.

    The cause of distractions that is claimed by NSC is Cognitive Distraction. This happens because of having a phone to the ear which causes “zone out effect that the NSC refers to as the Cognitive Distraction. All the research referenced by the NSC uses ear pieces which has the same effect as holding the phone to ones ear minus the hand held confusion. During the National Driver Distraction Summit, the NSC and all attendees were made aware of Dr. Amit Almor Univ. South Carolina research which shows that the direction of the sound affects the Cognitive Distraction, but they continue to choose to ignore it. Even people that make money out of selling ear pieces (One of the largest makers of Earpieces in France, Parrot,) already stopped producing them because they recognized their dangers.

    Hands Free with the right technology is great and will reduce and even eliminate the accidents the NSC is worried about.

    1st- The phone should not be handled manually and should be docked to a special cradle.

    2nd- The cradle will monitor the vehicle to determine if the driver is in a critical situation, e.g. passing or breaking or turning hard before it allows a call to come through. This part alone eliminates 44% of accidents.

    3rd- the sound should come at the driver from the windshield so they do not have to picture the caller in their head.

    4th – to answer hang up and dial are handled remotely from the steering wheel using a smart toggle sensor with an audible menu so the driver does not have to look at anything.

    This technology exists and is available on http://actplace.net. If we can make it safe, why ban it? What is really behind the NSC zealous attack on the cell phone that is making them loose sight of their true goal?

    Mouhamad A. Naboulsi, President, Applied Computer Technologies, Inc.

  • Ileen Martinel February 17, 2011 at 10:09 am

    The thing is a lot of people won't even see this car out on the street where they live, just kind of stinks for the ones who don't have access to these kind of cars

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