2013
10.19

Tech writers take a lot of pride in what they do and Wayne Cunningham is no exception. The senior writer at CNET, whose parent just happens to CBS, says CNET started noticing car technology about 10 years ago. Since then, the industry has exploded to the point where just about every car you’ll find has some kind of advanced technology.

In his view, the old paradigm that a car manufacturer would update a model every five years has completely changed and now cars just keep getting better and more advanced.

Now, thanks to connected technology, changes in vehicles have to happen much faster so that the tech stays up-to-date. While keeping up with technology advances might be good news for consumers, the bad news is that the industry is fraught with some significant challenges. He says one way the car industry is attempting to manage this particular problem is by making the software in the car updatable.

While connectivity has it benefits, Cunningham admits it adds to driver distraction. The problem is that as soon as a car manufacturer adds more features and capabilities to the technology, it complicates the interface and that’s where the rubber meets the road.

But he points out that there is this perception that cellphones are causing a massive distraction crisis, which results in “people crashing into each other” constantly. He challenges this perception. He notes that cellphones have been common for the past decade, and this sort of crisis really hasn’t happened.

In his estimation, most people seem to be smart enough to put the cellphone down when the road requires greater attention. Despite the National Highway Traffic Safety Admin., stats that quote 3,300 fatal traffic accidents as a result of distracted driving in 2012, Cunningham is still  optimistic that the majority of motorists can balance the urge to use a cellphone with being responsible enough to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.

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