Saturday, October 07, 2017

Form follows (mis)function

When seeing a dashboard layout like this, one is struck by not only sensory overload, created by the displays in question, but also on just how poorly laid out this design set truly is. Adding fuel to the fire is the use of the smart phone as texting and talking device while driving, a deadly combination resulting in traffic deaths rising more than 13% in 2016 alone. 

This is insane. BRT has talked about this problem before but car manufacturers just keep mindlessly loading up tech in a device that requires 100% concentration if one doesn't want to die or get injured going from point A to point B when some numbnuts forgets to realize why the 100% rule applies to driving 24/7.

The smart phone vendors are beginning to wise up by turning off phones when one gets in a car. What can be done about onboard tech poses a design problem of little complexity because all they have to do is turn said tech off when the car is in motion as this will save lives and money for all of us rubes involved with "happy motoring" 24/7.

According to the AAA, the solution could be to shut down elements of these systems entirely while people are driving–meaning you couldn’t tweet and drive, even if you wanted to. Doney says that car infotainment systems should be about as mentally draining as listening to the radio or an audiobook–and halting drivers’ tendency to multitask on the road would make cars safer. The designers of these systems also have the responsibility of ensuring that the interactions they’re building aren’t going to result in accidents. More research is needed to ensure carmakers aren’t cramming technology into cars without thinking through the consequences.


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