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CarPlay and Android Auto Safer Than Traditional Infotainment Systems

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A new report published by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety mentions that Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto are less demanding to car drivers than native OEM infotainment systems. The reason behind this result is simple – this software based on Smartphone like features have an interface which is simple, familiar and less confusing.

In the research, it was found out that drivers using Apple’s and Google’s system took less time to complete tasks like making a call and programming the navigation in the car. Both the systems made a call and programmed the navigation - 5 seconds (24 percent) and 15 seconds (31 percent) faster, respectively when compared to built-in infotainment systems.

Why Is This Finding Important?

It is a widespread fact that the drivers who get distracted from roads for more than two seconds double the risk of an accident. According to another survey, more than 390,000 injuries and 3,500 deaths occur every year due to distracted driving.

Doney acknowledged that the organization is sharing this update so that the automakers and the infotainment system can collaborate with Smartphone companies to leverage the superior technology of CarPlay and Android Auto.

"Automakers are experts at building safer cars, but Google and Apple are more skilled at building safer vehicle infotainment technology," said Marshall Doney, AAA's President and CEO. "By leveraging their strengths, the two industries must work together to significantly improve the design, functionality, and safety of these technologies."

AAA Research on Infotainment Systems

The present findings are mounting on the research publication of 2017 wherein AAA evaluated infotainment systems of ten 2017/2018 car models for study. These were - Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT (2018), Kia Sportage LX (2018), Kia Optima LX (2018), Ram 1500 Laramie  (2018), Volkswagen Jetta S (2017), BMW 430i xDrive Convertible
(2018), Buick Enclave Leather (2017), Land Rover Range Rover Sports HSE (2017), Mercedes-Benz C300 Limited (2017), and Nissan Rogue SV  (2017). Overall 76 subjects of age group 21-35 participated in this study.

Going deep, the results of this research study are quite shocking. None of the native OEM infotainments generated low demand for performing tasks during driving. On a serious note, car models of BMW, Land Rover, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz and Buick evoked very high demand compared to moderate demands of Kia, Chevrolet and Ram models.

Recent Findings

Extending from here, for the latest survey report, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety united with the University of Utah researchers to test five vehicles (all 2017 and 2018 models) to find out “the amount of visual (eyes-off-road) and cognitive (mental) demand placed on drivers by CarPlay, Android Auto and each vehicle's native infotainment system.”

The measurement scale in the study conducted ranged from “low” of demand that equated listening to music to “very high” of demand resembling balancing a checkbook while driving.

Both CarPlay and Android Auto stationed under an overall moderate level of demand whereas all the infotainment systems of all the tested five car model fell under the category of peak levels of demand for drivers.

Nevertheless, even CarPlay and Android Auto also do not come under the bracket of safe demand zone when sitting behind the wheels. But they ask for the minimized attention of the drivers when assessed against the in-vehicle infotainment technology for doing complex tasks.

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