Good News on CarPlay; Android Auto

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Here’s another selling point for CarPlay and Android Auto, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

CarPlay and Android Auto were found to be less distracting to drivers than typical OEM infotainment systems in a recent study by AAA.

The demand on thinking and “eyes on the road” was found to be significantly less when using CarPlay and Android Auto than using infotainment systems in the following vehicles:

  • 2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E (HondaLink)
  • 2017 Ford Mustang GT (SYNC3)
  • 2018 Chevrolet Silverado LT (MyLink)
  • 2018 Kia Optima (UVO)
  • 2018 Ram 1500 Laramie (Uconnect)

With CarPlay and Android Auto, “it took appreciably less time to complete tasks,” while driving said an AAA spokesperson.  The study found that the two systems were “more streamlined,” than typical factory OEM systems. They also had a “simpler design, requiring fewer steps,” and had “simpler menus,” and “a better user interface.”

The study evaluated tasks while driving including accessing music, calling, texting and navigating.  Navigating is the most distracting.  All the tasks required moderate to high distraction.  Accessing music was the least distracting, but was still deemed “moderate,” rather than “low” on a distraction scale.

The study also found some differences between CarPlay and Android Auto. CarPlay was less distracting with screen-based commands (using the main dash screen) than with voice/listening interaction but Android Auto was less distracting for voice/listening interaction than for dash screen demands.

CarPlay had lower overall distraction for sending text messages than Android Auto. But Android Auto was less distracting than CarPlay for entering a navigation destination.

“What was surprising was how much Apple CarPlay and Android Auto differed [in distraction levels] from a native system,” said the spokesperson.

“Overall, CarPlay and Android Auto provided more functionality and resulted in lower levels of workload than the native OEM systems. However, both systems had moderately high levels of demand with each often having strengths where the other has weaknesses, providing the opportunity for both to improve the user experience,” said AAA.

By the way, NHTSA guidelines say that a safe task should only require 24 seconds to complete while driving with only 12 of those seconds requiring actual eyes off the road.

You can view the full AAA study here.


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1 Comment

  1. 12 seconds with eyes off the road is an extremely long time at freeway speeds.. still pretty scary that people are out there in command of huge trucks going 80mph trying to do anything with eyes off the road more than a second or two.

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