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Touch Screens Are Distracting Drivers. What Are Carmakers Doing To Help?

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Touch Screens Are Distracting Drivers. What Are Carmakers Doing To Help?

Old 02-17-23, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
I don't think eye focus has ever been a reliable indicator of attention.
Originally Posted by Troul
This brings up a valid concern that I've been noticing as years progress... with the shapes/slopes/design of modern windshields, it's near impossible to make-out whether or not the operator is looking forward.
Back when I taught cycling skills improvement classes, we'd discuss these issues. Many cyclists like to have "eye contact" with other drivers, but the reality is the other driver could indeed be looking in their direction, but focused on something else.

This also gets into dooring countermeasures. I remember when the guidance was "look to see if someone's opening the door and if so move outward", then "look to see if the vehicle is occupied and if so move outward." For the last 2+ decades, between mandatory headrests and tinted windows, it's extraordinarily difficult to accurately assess if a motor vehicle is occupied, so it may be best to assume 100% occupancy and ride in a location that even if a door swings suddenly open, the bicyclist won't be in the swing radius + shy distance.

Apologies for tugging the discussion slightly off-topic. You can "screen" my posts in the future.
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Old 02-17-23, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
Probably the best the govt could do here would be finding ways to facilitate the industry developing standards.

The biggest problem might be in the rapid speed with which this sort of technology improves making a fixation at some point a possible problem.
I'm not in the auto industry, but I'm peripherally involved with connected and automated vehicle initiatives. The technology is moving fast, and any "freezing" of standards could lock in something suboptimal or possibly ignored. Just look at how Tesla constantly provides/forces/sells updates to their vehicles' software. I have no experience with SAE standards committees, but I've seen ASTM committees that are battlegrounds for vendors' market interests, with new standards based on what everyone could minimally agree on, and sometimes just semi-blatant attempts to freeze out competitors.
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Old 02-17-23, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by RCMoeur
I'm not in the auto industry, but I'm peripherally involved with connected and automated vehicle initiatives. The technology is moving fast, and any "freezing" of standards could lock in something suboptimal or possibly ignored. Just look at how Tesla constantly provides/forces/sells updates to their vehicles' software. I have no experience with SAE standards committees, but I've seen ASTM committees that are battlegrounds for vendors' market interests, with new standards based on what everyone could minimally agree on, and sometimes just semi-blatant attempts to freeze out competitors.
I would think that every car is so full of proprietary software and hardware that to
the extent that there was standardised software it would be limited to the interfaces--the actual layout and appearance. Something like dividing the screens into quadrants where this particular function is always found on a particular section of the"page". Obvious priorities like avoiding submenus and scrolling could be served by pooling research resources, the actual implementation of this into any auto manufacturer's "operating system" would be left up to the individual company.
I found the op article to be somewhat stupid on one point. It was arguing that auto designers should be consulting tablet and phone designers to accelerate the development of the interface, but I think they're absolutely the wrong people. Their technology is designed to draw in your full attention for as long as possible, encouraging scrolling, clicking and exploring. Literally, the last things you want a driver to do.
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Old 02-17-23, 04:45 PM
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i don't know about you guys, but i find it less distracting to say "hey siri, directions home" than to get out a paper map, find myself, and find a route home. the instructions are called out audibly, the map follows me at an appropriate scale, and is permanently illuminated. i can't say any of those things for paper maps... yet i haven't seen a single proposal to ban paper maps (or even their use!) in cars.
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Old 02-17-23, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mschwett
i don't know about you guys, but i find it less distracting to say "hey siri, directions home" than to get out a paper map, find myself, and find a route home. the instructions are called out audibly, the map follows me at an appropriate scale, and is permanently illuminated. i can't say any of those things for paper maps... yet i haven't seen a single proposal to ban paper maps (or even their use!) in cars.

Honestly, I don't remember what decade it was the last time I saw a paper map in a car. I used to have quite a collection. Loved the road atlas.
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Old 02-17-23, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
I found the op article to be somewhat stupid on one point. It was arguing that auto designers should be consulting tablet and phone designers to accelerate the development of the interface, but I think they're absolutely the wrong people. Their technology is designed to draw in your full attention for as long as possible, encouraging scrolling, clicking and exploring. Literally, the last things you want a driver to do.
Two things I've learned in a career in traffic engineering is:

1. Nearly anyone who operates a vehicle on public roads considers themselves an expert in the field.

2. Drivers significantly underestimate the complexity of the task. And the AV folks are at the stage where they now know enough to start to get an idea of how much more they need to know.
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Old 02-17-23, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
Honestly, I don't remember what decade it was the last time I saw a paper map in a car. I used to have quite a collection. Loved the road atlas.
On our annual Big Road Trips, we use paper maps for route selection and overall familiarization with the area through which we're traveling. You can't beat the screen size, but it's best consulted when stopped.

The GPSs are used for spot navigation and for ETA or finding services.
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Old 02-17-23, 08:43 PM
  #83  
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OBD2 has been caressed to adapt modern [added] modules & DTC's, no reason to pigeonhole tech to a initial rollout of federal standards. Having the main screen display fixed menu selections, options, & such & inhibiting the entertainment touch screens from including HVAC systems, vehicle performance selections, seat controls, interior illumination systems would be a potential start. It'll increase the amount of screens, but at least the operator will know which one is the screen needed to interact with to change the temps or blower speed vs setting DST or finding the hot jams to pound on to the steering wheel during a commute.
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Old 02-17-23, 08:45 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
Honestly, I don't remember what decade it was the last time I saw a paper map in a car. I used to have quite a collection. Loved the road atlas.
in the 90s, i used to love going to AAA and getting the full set of identically formatted maps at various scales for whatever region i was traveling to!
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Old 02-17-23, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mschwett
in the 90s, i used to love going to AAA and getting the full set of identically formatted maps at various scales for whatever region i was traveling to!
The AAA Trip-Tik was really the way to go back in the day for a long road trip. As a kid in the early 90s I got to be the navigator for some cross-country trips with those, fond memories.
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Old 02-17-23, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by mschwett
i don't know about you guys, but i find it less distracting to say "hey siri, directions home" than to get out a paper map, find myself, and find a route home. the instructions are called out audibly, the map follows me at an appropriate scale, and is permanently illuminated. i can't say any of those things for paper maps... yet i haven't seen a single proposal to ban paper maps (or even their use!) in cars.
How often do you need GPS, Siri, or a map (with or without audible assist, illumination or real time tracking), to find your way home?
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Old 02-17-23, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
How often do you need GPS, Siri, or a map (with or without audible assist, illumination or real time tracking), to find your way home?
need? rarely. benefit from it? often. iíve not yet seen a paper map which shows live traffic, nor do i have some magic intuition which tells me which of several routes to any destination has the least traffic.

either your time is a lot less precious, or perhaps you live somewhere with no traffic and few ways to get from point A to point B?
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Old 02-18-23, 12:06 AM
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I'm always amazed at the "traffic hour" in WI vs my local area. Even a Sunday night in my area has more traffic than a Friday afternoon in WI.

If a paper map did illuminate, i'd think that is called a paper fire?
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Old 02-18-23, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
How often do you need GPS, Siri, or a map (with or without audible assist, illumination or real time tracking), to find your way home?

You ever driven in New England? The road system here is the proverbial plate of spaghetti. I have a job that takes me all over the state, and once you get off the interstates, there aren't a lot of straight lines. Taking a wrong turn without GPS is definitely the beginning of an ordeal. We all don't live on a Great Plains grid, you know.
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Old 02-18-23, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mschwett
need? rarely. benefit from it? often. iíve not yet seen a paper map which shows live traffic, nor do i have some magic intuition which tells me which of several routes to any destination has the least traffic.

either your time is a lot less precious, or perhaps you live somewhere with no traffic and few ways to get from point A to point B?

He's in Burlington, Iowa. Heavy traffic for him is when the trains come through town.
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Old 02-18-23, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
Just want to say I appreciate you and phughes taking the time to discuss our disagreements. I've enjoyed this conversation and appreciate your perspectives on this.
I do as well. It's refreshing to have a conversation with differing viewpoints with someone on a forum without it turning into insults and name calling. Thank you.
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Old 02-18-23, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by mschwett
need? rarely. benefit from it? often. iíve not yet seen a paper map which shows live traffic, nor do i have some magic intuition which tells me which of several routes to any destination has the least traffic.

either your time is a lot less precious, or perhaps you live somewhere with no traffic and few ways to get from point A to point B?
Yes, I know on line map services have many features and uses but you posted about the need/usefulness of such devices for finding your way home, not traffic reports or traveling in locations far from home. I responded to what you posted, not what you may have been thinking about.
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Old 02-18-23, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
I find it interesting that with all the technology that goes into F1 racing, the critical functions are still controlled by knobs and buttons. The digital display just tells them where the buttons currently are.
Can you imagine the average driver getting into his/her grocery getter and seeing something like this?

That's quite an old one but they still don't use touch screens of course. They're on the edge, they want all the feedback they can get. Of course they use tactile feedback. It's the people designing consumer cars that are the morons. I can only explain it by being so tech driven that any fresh technology has to be used without even considering whether it's making things better. I heard the technology of a touch screen givng tactile feedback is coming....
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Old 02-18-23, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Yes, I know on line map services have many features and uses but you posted about the need/usefulness of such devices for finding your way home, not traffic reports or traveling in locations far from home. I responded to what you posted, not what you may have been thinking about.

Your pointless nitpicking knows no limits. If one is driving far away from home, one does often need the gps to find the road pointing back home. BTW, traffic reports are very useful for finding your way home in a reasonable amount of time, so your nitpick is just dumb semantics.
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Old 02-18-23, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by RCMoeur
Two things I've learned in a career in traffic engineering is:

1. Nearly anyone who operates a vehicle on public roads considers themselves an expert in the field.

2. Drivers significantly underestimate the complexity of the task. And the AV folks are at the stage where they now know enough to start to get an idea of how much more they need to know.

I used to be professionally involved with crime policy research, so I'm very familiar with the everyone thinks they're an expert phenomenon. Feel free to call me on it when I'm obviously blabbing above my nonexistent pay grade. I'm definitely engaging in nonexpert musing here, but imo so was the op article.
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Old 02-18-23, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Yes, I know on line map services have many features and uses but you posted about the need/usefulness of such devices for finding your way home, not traffic reports or traveling in locations far from home. I responded to what you posted, not what you may have been thinking about.
read it again. i never said i was lost, or didn't know the way home. my example was directing siri to give me directions home. i didn't say "siri, i'm lost" nor did i reference the phone/screen being useful for when i'm lost.without taking my eyes off the road, i instructed a machine to check the traffic and give me prompts (audible and visual) for the fastest way from a known location (my current location) to another known location (home.)

i've lived in the same area my whole life, i know my way home. i do not know what the traffic is like 30 miles away nor which of dozens of route has the least sum amount of traffic.
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Old 02-19-23, 11:06 AM
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If they paid you guys for arguing posts you'd all be wildly wealthy. Closed.
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