If you're already concerned about how much people actually pay attention when they're driving, you may have even more cause for alarm. More distractions are on the way. Responding to demand from their customers, more and more auto manufacturers are integrating devices to tweet, check your Facebook, buy tickets to events, and check your e-mail.
Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, and Ford all have products in the works and we should be seeing them as soon as Spring. Ford Motors was actually the first one to start incorporating modern communication systems into their dashboards with their Sync technology. Now users will be able to interact with their Twitter account, watch streaming video, and get their news right from the drivers seat.
Another dashboard integration we can expect will also come from the Ford Sync system. Currently Ford is developing an array of voice-activated health and wellness-based tools to aid drivers with issues like diabetes, allergies, and asthma. While this could still be considered a distraction, it sounds like it will do more good than harm.
Of course we all know that distractions like cell phones in the car can make accidents more likely, I am surprised we're not hearing more buzz about these innovations from the government. I know there's going to be some users who abuse these technologies on the highway and that's going to be a problem. I think there is the possibility that integrating these technologies into our dashboards could actually make them safer for us. Yes, it's distracting to check your e-mail while your driving, but if your going to do it on your smartphone anyway, it might as well get integrated into your dash so at least your eyes are fixed in the general direction of the road.