Safety in Connected Cars an Issue for Drivers

More than 65 percent of those surveyed said they would prefer always-on navigation systems that work with or without wireless coverage in the vehicle.

Connected car survey

More than 56 percent of drivers have safety concerns about managing multiple, non-integrated applications for local search, navigation and mapping while behind the wheel, according to a survey of more than 150 U.S. car owners conducted by mapping software specialist deCarta.

More than 65 percent of those surveyed said they would prefer always-on navigation systems that work with or without wireless coverage in their vehicle.

Likewise, 64 percent said they desire smart integrated traffic solutions for optimum route calculation, including traffic-enabled routing that continuously checks current and historic traffic flow and upcoming roadway incidents and re-routes the trip automatically.

"The most important thing to improve safety is to minimize the amount of touch interaction the driver has with the system, or even the amount of time the driver has to look at the map," J. Kim Fennell, president and CEO of deCarta, told eWeek. "This means the navigation system should have smarter, clearer voice commands that can guide the driver audibly rather than requiring constant viewing of the route."

Fennell explained the best solution is to have location based service (LBS) apps seamlessly integrated, that are context aware and work for the driver, providing the right information at the right time and making choices for the driver based on where they are, and where they need to get to—and on their predetermined preferences.

As for local search features, a third of respondents indicated they want the ability to find places along their current route, like a restaurant to stop ahead of them in the next hour.

A little more than a quarter (27 percent) also wanted smarter, more useful searches that combine multiple needs such as parking near the place they were being navigated to.

Additionally, 26 percent indicated they wanted more intelligent search to find gas stations along their route ahead of them combined with current or cheapest fuel prices.

Among those who now use on-board navigation systems, just 7 percent use them for "near-me-now discovery" to determine their locations and proximity to nearby sites.

More than two-thirds of respondents (69 percent) considered dashboard screens that display videos and other Internet content to be the most dangerous types of onboard information systems.

A substantial 79 percent majority of those polled preferred "voice-activated mapping systems that allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road" as an essential safety-enhancing feature.

"According to a recent market forecast by Gartner, by 2020, our roadways will be filled with more than 250 million connected cars that provide a range of exciting benefits for drivers including wireless network connections that enable new onboard telematics and LBS," Fennell said. "These vehicles will also feature automated driving and contextually-aware mapping technologies that can understand traffic patterns or a driver’s preferences for restaurants, gas stations and more."