In-car infotainment systems: cool, dangerous or both?

January 16, 2012 12:00 AM

Many automakers debuted their latest in-car infotainment systems at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, renewing the debate over whether or not these systems were truly safe or contribute to distracted driving.

Automakers argue that voice-activation can actually help with distraction, because drivers don't need to take their eyes off the road as they would with a smartphone. However, now that the systems are connecting to the internet and allowing access to sites like Facebook, critics say that motorists are being bombarded with unnecessary information.

However, it appears that the technology is moving faster than regulators can, as there are still no safety guidelines for what automakers can and can't do, reports Bloomberg News.

"People are pretty determined to be connected in their vehicles as they are everywhere else," said Jeremy Anwyl, vice chairman of "You can regulate all you want. I'm not sure, for a lot of consumers, it's going to make a lot of difference."

Although in-car infotainment systems can be cool, drivers need to take steps to ensure they're driving safely. Another important safety aspect is regular auto maintenance, as this can detect problems with the tires or brakes that could potentially lead to an accident.

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