Tech Firms Put Sales Before Safety, NTSB Chief Says
Safety board chairwoman fires new salvo in distracted-driving debate.
According to Bloomberg News, Hersman delivered a shot across the bow to technology companies such as Intel while speaking at a distracted-driving forum in Washington, D.C., saying: "If the technology producers focused more on what is safe than what sells, we'd see highway fatalities go down." Hersman said that in their rush to capitalize on in-car infotainment systems, tech companies are impeding the fight against distracted driving. She also said everyone involved must "dispel the myth of multitasking."
During testimony to the NTSB, University of Wisconsin professor John Lee, who has studied distracted driving, called the pace of change in technology products "daunting," and said the evolution "far outstrips the pace of regulatory response" according to the Bloomberg report. Hersman, meanwhile, recently called for a full ban on the use of mobile devices -- including those with hands-free functionality -- while driving.
Intel, which recently began establishing a $100 million "connected car fund," says developing the technology includes studying ways to make it safer. The Bloomberg piece quotes Intel spokesperson Laura Anderson, who said that “Intel is working closely with automakers and in-vehicle infotainment suppliers to help integrate advanced technologies into cars to enhance the in-vehicle experience as well as advanced driver assistance systems," and that "a significant area of focus for the $100 million Intel Capital Connected Car Fund is to accelerate innovation for driver and passenger safety." As an example, Anderson said that "the fund will invest in startups developing technologies for advanced driver assistance, gesture recognition and sensors,” according to the same report.
Editor's note: The original piece as published on 3/27 was unclear in its attribution; all quotes and source material were derived from a piece published in Bloomberg earlier that day, which was then republished in Automotive News. Changes have been made to the original text to reflect this.
[Source: Automotive News via Bloomberg.]
Hersman is just another example of an overreaching government bureaucrat that thinks they know better for how we should conduct our lives than we do. Time to reign in the DOT, NTSB, NHTSA and a lot of these other regulatory clowns.
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