Blog: Dave LeggettCan we keep things simple?

Dave Leggett | 12 February 2008

Driver distraction has always been with us - it's nothing new. But are the distractions becoming more numerous and difficult to avoid now? Certainly competitive pressures mean that the carmakers and suppliers of in-car entertainment and telematics equipment are continually pushing at boundaries, piling up the innovations.

I find the mere suggestion that your automobile cabin could be considered some kind of 'mobile family room' or office a bit worrying.

I know people do long journeys in the US and the DVD screens in the rear may be essential for keeping the kids amused, but the general trend on all this stuff seems a little out of hand and I'm not just talking about cars. Nokia is even working on sat-nav in cell phones for pedestrians (do we really need that?).

The obsession with connectivity these days seems mainly supply-driven to me. The tech firms can do it, so they tell us we need it and many are duly seduced by over-engineered, if pretty, gadgets like the iPhone and other so-called 'smart phones'.

Technology can be a great enabler, but it can also be a sledgehammer to crack a nut, people obsessing over nothing, indulging in the banal (because they can) and pumping up their sense of self-importance in the process. Enforced eavesdropping is a bane of our age. Lord help us when cell phone use is allowed on flights.

If you turn your cell off while driving, calls go through to voicemail. Tip: you can then choose when to get back to them (or not) thus enhancing your personal productivity...

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