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BMW ConnectedDrive in-car technology
Which? magazine found that some car makers had easier to use and less distracting in-car technology than others, warning that complicated systems could prove highly distracting

Author: Ralph Morton

It will come as little surprise to business van drivers that the use of technology to provide you with information on your destination and find the quickest route is critical in van choice.

And those vans that don’t come with it as standard, we’re sure you’ve got your favourite portable sat-nav to direct you and your van to your next job.

But this technology poses a very dangerous distraction to drivers the consumer magazine Which? points out. Using integrated phones and satnavs and particularly touchscreen technology is a very worrying cause for distraction while on the road.

The poorly designed interface of these devices is the biggest issue at hand Which? Car editor, Richard Headland, pointed out:

“We found that the sheer number of ways to carry out simple tasks was baffling, and crying out to be simplified.

“We know people want systems that integrate audio, phone, satnav and other functions, but it’s time for the Government to step in and provide some strong guidance to focus vehicles makers on creating less distracting systems.”

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research responded, saying: “We welcome this report which highlights the need for more consistent design standards for in-vehicle systems.”

Which? has created an “technology charter” which lays out objectives for future navigation technologies such as the need for drivers not to look away from the road for more than two seconds at a time to operate a single device, and that vehicle makers needed to develop more advanced voice recognition systems.

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