Excitement is in the air at the International Geneva Motor Show this week, and without surprise, there are many vehicles with unusual design, spotless interiors, and, of course, new technology. Creating a buzz is the Rinspeed BamBoo electric car—first ever of its kind, it is called the world’s first social networking vehicle.
The Rinspeed BamBoo, a Harman vehicle, will allow drivers to “feel at home” with Wi-Fi internet, Twitter, Facebook, podcasts, iPad stations, satellite music, and more, all at the fingertips of social motorists. Texting and driving is so 2010!
Is anyone worried about road safety? How can authorities enforce distracted driving laws the vehicles themselves tempt drivers to surf the web, update Facebook, and read the latest headlines?
For now, the Harman-made vehicle is still in the concept stage—but popular vehicle manufactures have taken already cue. For instance, Ford has announced their newest vehicle will feature Facebook integration. How will social technology inside the latest and greatest vehicles increase the risk of car accidents and future road safety?
We Investigate: Rinspeed BamBoo Social Networking Car
Harman and Rinspeed have assured the public that their vehicle is safe. But, we take the investigation further as we review its features and how they may affect an ordinary driver.
Every social feature like Twitter, Facebook and the internet are voice accessible, which allows drivers to use predictive search technology to find their favorite tunes or news stories. The radio application translates the text-based media into voice, and plays it back through speakers inside the car.
So far, so good.
For drivers who can’t put their iPad down, an in-dash head unit allows the vehicle to connect to computers or tablets within or around the vehicle. And, if a driver receives a text or email, the voice-centric technology reads the media out loud.
While every feature of the Rinspeed BamBoo vehicle seems to pass initial safety checks, the problem lies in the natural urge to respond to the incoming media.
For example, if a driver receives a text, the voice system will read the text out loud. But what happens when the driver is tempted to respond to the text? The voice commands are not dually-operating; therefore, the driver is stuck considering whether or not to respond to the latest Facebook update, email, text, or Tweet.
How many of these drivers will resist the urge to pick up their smartphones or computers and respond to the incoming message? Not many. In fact, in a recent poll by State Farm, over 20 percent of those in their 30s have admitted to surfing the web while driving. And, those are simply the ones who admit it.
If the technology is so readily available, many more drivers will succumb to the temptation to interact with on-board social technology. Unfortunately, this is not a good idea for the sake of safety, since on-board distractions will have the likelihood to increase the chance of a car accident.
Harman has publicly noted the social technology is safe, but it doesn’t pass our seal of approval. The only way to ensure safe, responsible driving is to keep your eyes on the road, and focus on driving. Anything else is a distraction.
Distractions lead to injury accidents
Distracted driving is the #1 cause of car accidents today. Unfortunately, accidents in San Diego occur every day, and many of them involve injuries that could have possibly been avoided.
If you have been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s distraction, personal injury attorney Michael Pines can help. Founder of the Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC., he will fight on your behalf against insurance companies who often try to settle quickly, simply to get you off their hands.
You only get one chance for justice. Make sure your settlement is a fair one.
Call 1-858-551-2090 or contact us online today for a free and confidential legal review of your car accident case.
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines