Should Map Apps Be Regulated In Cars? – WBUR

Should Map Apps Be Regulated In Cars?
A driver holds an iPhone with Google Maps while at a red light. (Steve Garfield/Flickr). The U.S.


This line of questioning is starting to stir some debate. As Peggy Smedley says, if car manufacturers don’t put cool, but often distracting apps into cars, they will often lose sales to other marques that do.


We have many distracting apps in our cars, I think navigation has been well proven to reduce accidents, but that doesn’t apply to all of them.


I’ve had a couple of contradictory but interesting experience’s with Google’s Waze app, which a couple of colleagues have raved about so much that I have started to use it again ad compared it to my latest TomTom which I love even though I had 2 less than perfect experiences with it recently that probably stand out because they are absolute rarities and I have been spoiled to expect an outstanding experience every time.


So when I use Waze, it often invites me to interact while driving. Of course it is a crowd sourced data solution and it relies largely on its users to inform it about incidents, Police on the side of the road, speed cameras and so in. It also asks for confirmation that an accident, a car on the side of the freeway are still there, or when it detects heavy traffic, comes up with a quick select menu of things that might be the cause. All great stuff, but if you are alone in your car, it is certainly attraction (against the T&C if you read them) to get you to respond to what is going on and you know that if you don’t and others also don’t because of the risk of being distracted, no one would end up with information.


On the flip side, the other day I was a passenger in a car and tried to start up Waze. I was in a Taxi and the Wellington cab driver, who said yes, when I asked him how to get to y destination, finally admitted that he didn’t. I pointed out that he could use the nav in his taxi system and suggested he enter the address there, which he finally did, on the side of the road as the meter was ticking. So we started driving again and the screen locked up. I thought there was something wrong with the phone, but then I noticed a warning message asking me to please click a button to confirm I was not the driver entering my destination whilst driving a car. Great idea, but it would have been cool to perhaps have a n audible alert every time I touched the screen until I confirmed that yes I was a passenger. Having been in the mobile data and mobile device industry for many years I wasn’t expecting this feature and my instincts kicked in to figure out what the technical problem was, thus being even more distracted.


Do you think car GPS devices are distracting and dangerous, say in comparison to using your mobile or deciding what to listen to on your Internet Radio?


About Luigi Cappel

Writer for hire, marketing consultant specialising in Location Based Services. Futurist and Public Speaker Auckland, New Zealand
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