CEA Speaks Out on Voice Activation in Cars

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Confronting an AAA study on the dangers of voice activated tasks in cars, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) said it continues to support the use of hands-free voice commands in automobiles.

The AAA study, released Wednesday, found that voice activated email and text messaging is highly distracting, even with hands-free technology.  But the CEA said the study was not performed in a real-world settings.

“CEA welcomes all research on how to increase roadway safety and shares AAA’s interest in preventing distracted driving,” said CEA head Gary Shapiro. “However, we believe this AAA-sponsored study suffers from a number of methodology flaws, and, as a result, its broad conclusions about voice-to-text technology should be questioned. This study could hardly be considered naturalistic as it relied on young drivers in unfamiliar cars, wearing a type of helmet and driving on a defined course when compared to studies which track real drivers in real situations.”

Shapiro added, “A recent and truly naturalistic study completed by Virginia Tech’s Transportation Institute on behalf of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that hands-free, voice-activated devices constitute no increased safety risks.”

He encouraged AAA to educate its members to use consumer electronics appropriately.

Source: Consumer Electronics Association,

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1 Comment

  1. Fighting the distracted driving issue will ultimately be a waste of time and energy. Developing technology that assists the driver to maintain control when distracted is what will ultimately solve the issue. We are moving in that direction already.

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