| Cult of Mac

Using CarPlay is more dangerous than texting while driving, study claims


BMW could ditch its pricey annual subscription cost for CarPlay
CarPlay: good for your infotainment system, not your reaction times.
Photo: Sony

Using Apple’s CarPlay platform in its current state is worse for drivers’ reaction times than being high on weed, at the drink-drive legal limit, or texting behind the wheel, a new study claims.

IAM RoadSmart, the biggest road U.K. safety charity, analyzed the impact of various in-car distractions. While CarPlay may make the experience of using your car’s infotainment system more enjoyable, the group’s research concludes that it certainly won’t make you a better driver.

“The fundamental issue of these systems [is that they require] you to take your eyes off the road ahead,” Neil Greig, policy and research director for IAM RoadSmart, told Cult of Mac. However, Greig said steps could be taken to make systems like CarPlay safer.

Attaching a tablet to your steering wheel is world’s most idiotic hack


iPad steering wheel
This isn't smart.
Photo: TheDailyTelegraph.au

The great thing about mobile devices is that you can take them anywhere. The bad things about mobile devices is that you can take them anywhere.

That has the potential to lead to plenty of dangerous situations, as a new photo which has popped up online makes clear. It shows an iPad (or is it another type of tablet?) seemingly attached to the steering wheel of a user in Australia. We guess that’s “thinking different,” alright. Just not in a way Steve Jobs would have ever wanted!

UK’s Big Brother road signs watch for drivers using iPhones


UK Street signs watching for motorists using their phones are being tested .Big Brother anyone?
Street signs watching for motorists using their phones are being tested in Britain. Big Brother anyone?
Photo: Norfolk County Council

Distracted driving is a major source of accidents. In hopes of combatting the problem, road signs that can detect whether a cell phone is in use are being tested in the UK.

The signs currently just light up to remind the motorist to put down their phone. Plans to record the license plates of drivers receiving warnings are being considered. And traffic citations are the likely next step.

Cameras might soon bust drivers who use iPhones


Cameras look for distracted driving
Cameras will be looking for distracted driving in Australia. The U.S. can't be far behind.
Photo: NYPost

Cameras that automatically give tickets to speeders are old news. So are red-light cameras. Now Australia is exploring using cameras to ticket motorists who are on their cell phones while driving.

Australia might become the first country to legalize using photographic evidence alone to enforce distracted driving laws.

Effort to eliminate drowsy driving shifts into high gear


Seeing Machines of Australia has developed in-vehicle cameras that can track blinking and eye gaze and sound an alert if fatigue is distracting a driver's eyes from the road. Photo: Seeing Machines
Seeing Machines' in-vehicle cameras track blinking and eye gaze, then sound an alert if fatigue is detected. Photo: Seeing Machines

Cameras and sensors assist us with backing up, parallel parking and eliminating blind spots, but technology that makes sure drivers don’t nod off still hasn’t found traction.

Australian company Seeing Machines wants to change that with its dashboard device that pays rapt attention to a driver’s head movements, blinking patterns and eyeball rotations, then alerts the motorist if a dangerous “microsleep event” is imminent.

“Unless you are a soldier, driving is the most dangerous thing we do day-to-day,” Rama Myers, business development manager for Seeing Machines, told Cult of Mac.