Technology Trips Up Drivers

By Timothy Dyck  |  Posted 2001-02-05 Print this article Print

I'm a big fan of Hertz's NeverLost GPS-based navigational system, as I'm so often in strange cities trying to drive to places I've never been before.

Im a big fan of Hertzs NeverLost GPS-based navigational system, as Im so often in strange cities trying to drive to places Ive never been before. Its accurate, it automatically recalculates my route when I miss an exit, and, best of all, the output is oral, so I dont have to look away from the road to see where I should be going.

Keeping distractions to a minimum is going to be a bigger problem as embedded technological systems become more common in our cars, homes, clothing and bodies. This is particularly true for young drivers, who are less experienced at handling cars safely in difficult conditions.

Preliminary reports from a U.S. Department of Transportation study at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Oak Ridge, Tenn., show that a significantly large number of people (one in six drivers) missed an oncoming turnoff when faced with too many inputs from a cellular phone, in-car navigational system, collision-warning system and in-dash computer screen.

Keeping your eyes on the road and your mind on the task at hand means IT needs to be more aware of how our technology gets used out of the office.

Timothy Dyck is a Senior Analyst with eWEEK Labs. He has been testing and reviewing application server, database and middleware products and technologies for eWEEK since 1996. Prior to joining eWEEK, he worked at the LAN and WAN network operations center for a large telecommunications firm, in operating systems and development tools technical marketing for a large software company and in the IT department at a government agency. He has an honors bachelors degree of mathematics in computer science from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and a masters of arts degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.

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