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(Wired)   Inventors seem to think cars aren't dangerous enough, so they're making new distractions.   ( divider line
    More: Stupid  
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8500 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Dec 2001 at 9:45 AM (16 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

49 Comments     (+0 »)
2001-12-06 09:48:39 AM  
Knight Rider was a sitcom?
2001-12-06 09:50:59 AM  
well, I do laugh when I watch it now, but I don't think it was marketed as such
2001-12-06 09:52:52 AM  
The hookers, the drugs, the alcohol, my cell phone and DVD player. I need something else to do while I am driving, like make business apointments.
2001-12-06 09:53:28 AM  
Oh... this will catch on. I mean, with all the Bluetooth enabled cell phones I've seen everywhere.
2001-12-06 09:56:55 AM  
What email could be so important that you can't wait until your car is safely parked to read? It's not like you could -reply- to one on the road... although I am sure that is a feature coming up shortly. I'd rather wait until I got in the office to read my email than risk my life and the lives of everyone else on the road to find out what latest spam I have.
2001-12-06 09:59:02 AM  
now if it read Fark headlines to you...I would be at least 36th in line

2001-12-06 09:59:04 AM  
hasselhoffs hair was a sitcom in itself
2001-12-06 10:01:58 AM  
We won't have to listen to that faggy kitt voice will we?
2001-12-06 10:02:22 AM  
hasselhoff is a sitcom in itself

He's a poor mans Bill Shatner
2001-12-06 10:03:14 AM  
Before an Idea like this is even considered I think you say, Would this be safe for TRUCKDRIVERS????? If the answer is no then don't make it......
2001-12-06 10:04:23 AM  
I'll stick to getting blowjobs and shooting carjackers thank you.
2001-12-06 10:05:33 AM  
"But Marge, it's Knight Boat! The crime fighting boat!"
2001-12-06 10:07:28 AM  
Man, driving is going to get more and more complex, right now I can slurp my triple cappucinno yap on the phone and have a smoke going and on a good day I change the CD, I don't think I can handle any more.
2001-12-06 10:18:16 AM  
Apparently Mr. Fitzgerald is concerned with the "strong cognitive burden" placed on people in trying to remember where they are in a command hierarchy, "especially if they're looking for signs and looking for other things on the road."
IMHO, most drivers (and I use that word strictly without prejudice and in the most general sense of the term) are pretty task-saturated as it is. How 'bout not giving them ANYthing more to have to think about, no matter how simple.
2001-12-06 10:21:41 AM  
"The phone can be in your phone or briefcase."

This is some kind of scientist talk, right?!
2001-12-06 10:23:56 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
2001-12-06 10:25:44 AM  
Yeah. It's opposite value is:
"The phone can be out of your phone or breifcase."
get it?
2001-12-06 10:29:29 AM  
Can I get one that will hold my beer for me?
2001-12-06 10:34:38 AM  
Know what I do if I see someone yakking on a cell phone in the car right by me? I roll down the window and crank up my stereo full-blast. Don't know if that'll do any good...they'll probably be more likely to wind up hitting someone.

I only carry a cell phone in my car for emergencies. I never talk on the phone while driving--I did that a couple times and found I couldn't drive worth squat while doing so! I just keep it off so no one can call's like, don't call me, I'll call you. :)
2001-12-06 10:39:28 AM  
When I see someone talking on a cellphone in a car, I do that thing that they used to do in cop shows in the 70s and drive up alongside and try to nudge them off the road. They hate that.
2001-12-06 10:40:23 AM  
LOL Korzeniowski!
2001-12-06 10:50:38 AM  
When I see someone on a cell phone while driving, I use the most offensive hand-gesture available:

Put your hand up to your head, thumb extended towards your ear and pinky extended towards your mouth, simulating a phone handset. Then, pointedly, "hang up."

This pisses them off to no end. Ahhh! Satisfaction!
2001-12-06 10:54:51 AM  
Can you put one on a segway?
2001-12-06 10:54:51 AM  
off the subject but I am just having a whale of a time deleting my email every 5 minutes because the morons at my company cannot undertstand what "don't open e-mail titled obvious virus name here" means.

2001-12-06 10:54:54 AM  
LadyAlexa the more you talk on the phone while your driving the better you will be at it. But, you have to challenge yourself, so only practice when you are going 70 on the interstate during high traffic volume. Practice makes perfect.
2001-12-06 10:56:23 AM  
New York recently enacted a ban on holding a cell phone to your head while driving, and let me tell ya boy do I feel safer. Just the other day I almost sideswiped a car while trying to put my headset on.

I've also had the pleasure of riding around for a day with my father who basically runs his business from his car. Watching him hold a piece of paper and dial while driving has to be one of the scariest things to witness.

Enter voice recognition: Just last week my father had the Mercedes voice recognition and integrated cell phone installed in his car. Before I got to use this system I thought it was just plain stupid and a waste of money. After using it I wish the New York cell phone ban required drivers to use a speakerphone and voice recognition for driving.

So why is everyone ripping on this device just because it requires bluetooth? Yeah I know that bluetooth is a technological unicorn, but even if the implementation of this system sucks its still an important step forward for safety.

Simple fact is that dialing while driving is the danger (yeah I know how to dial without looking at the keypad) and voice recognition even if its relatively crude like in the Mercedes offering is a safety feature and blasting this $200 version is kind of unfair.

Instead of complaining that this system requires bluetooth, why not complain that cell phone manufacturers don't have a simple standard plug for interfacing cell phones so that more generic kits could be sold?
2001-12-06 10:58:00 AM  
personally I like to carry one of those cell phones that are bigger than regular phones, like the ones in Night at the Roxbury.

2001-12-06 11:01:56 AM  
"Simple fact is that dialing while driving is the danger..."

So is yakking while driving. It's a distraction. There are those that claim, "Well, then why don't I crash when I'm talking to my friend in the passenger seat?"
Well, for starters, your pal can see where the car is headed, too, and they, unlike a cell-phone friend, has a vested interest in making sure you dodge any oncoming trees.
2001-12-06 11:11:51 AM  
I thought it was crashing while driving that was the danger...
2001-12-06 11:12:51 AM  
What do you want to bet some people will request the super sexy car voice so they can masterbate while talking to thier car? Oh yeah, and driving. Oh, and thier eyes will be closed. Sounds safe!
2001-12-06 11:14:36 AM  
Whoever put the 'stupid' tag on this needs to die. The only way this could ever be 'stupid' is if somebody installed it in their 1974 Ford Pinto. I mean, this is great. Now all I'm waiting for is the turbo-boost. Give me a talking car with turbo-boost and I'm good to go.
2001-12-06 11:14:56 AM  
The point is that it is a distraction while driving. Driving is boring, that's why every car has a radio. If no one was distracted everyone would be going like 90 mph.

I think we need better stuff to be distracted with then WFAN and our companions.
2001-12-06 11:15:26 AM  
I had always thought that the crusise control was supposed to take care of the all that "driving shiat" while I was talking on the fone, smoking, shaving, changing the CD and wackin' off.

Seems to me that Ford has a little explaining to do.
2001-12-06 11:19:15 AM  
I agree absolutely not.

Talking while holding the phone to your head, or cocking you head to the side to hold the phone between your ear and your shoulder can be a big distraction, there is no denying that.

But having used the system in the Benz, I can say without a doubt that talking on the speakerphone is no more distracting than talking to the person next to you, actually if anything its less of a distraction. Human nature is to read the facial expressions of the person you are speaking to, the natural tendency is to look glance at the person now and then while talking to them. With the speakerphone there is no person to look at, thus one less distraction.

As far as your theory on the person next to you having a vested interest in not hitting anything: if you need a copilot your probably shouldn't be driving in the first place.

There is a requirement for some people to talk on the phone while driving. Our society has changed to make this a requirement so there is no going back. The bottom line is that the shiat is out of the horse and we need to find safer ways to deal with it.
2001-12-06 11:25:45 AM  
"that's why every car has a radio..."

Radio isn't as much of a distraction as a cell phone because it's not interactive. Your brain doesn't get glued to attempts at replying to songs by Britney Spears, et al.

"With the speakerphone there is no person to look at, thus one less distraction.
As far as your theory on the person next to you having a vested interest in not hitting anything: if you need a copilot your probably shouldn't be driving in the first place."

You miss my point. Talking on the phone, speaker or otherwise, takes concentration. That concentration is needed for driving. If you talk with someone in the car, that someone is also looking at their surroundings and can yell "look out" if something is about to be hit by the car.

No, one doesn't need a co-pilot to drive. If you must hold a conversation while driving, it's safer to do it with a person present than one connected by a cell phone.
2001-12-06 11:40:45 AM  
Rationalize all you want. I didn't miss you point I disagree with your point. Not all people that have oposing opinions to yours are too stupid to understand what your saying. I feel that talking on a speakerphone while driving is just as safe if not safer than talking to a person next to you where your natural instinct would be to occaisionally look at them.

As far as having a passenger warn you of impending doom, I'd say its a 50/50 type scenario. When I have to drive my mom somewhere I sedate her first, the constant tension she puts into the air is more dangerous than digging through the pile of oily rags in the back seat while driving. Her over reaction to certain things has cause me to lock up the brakes (scaring the shiat out of any other passengers or drivers behind me) on more than one occaision .

Furthermore relying on a passenger to warn you is dangerous, I learned the hard way never to ask a passenger if its clear on the other side before making a turn.
2001-12-06 11:41:43 AM  
Well for what its worth I think its either a damn shame or its damn cool. Heres bothg views:

For: Well for all the lonely guys out there with no girlfriends.....and nothing better to do than drive around and show off their car...this would be perfect. Now they can drive around and look like their talking to themselves...which is common anyways. But a car that could save you from having to look down at the radio while your driving 100 mph and then looking up and seeing an 18 wheeler could be a good thing.

Against: wtf are they thinking. I think its just a money ploy for those people that buy their BMW and Lexus SUV' know the ones.....the ones that will NEVER go off road or even see a spec of dust much less covered in caked on mud. I live in a large city and see people driving these all over and my car isn't pretty, but its my goal to get in a wreck...and I have been targetting any Lexus....BMW....Cadillac...or Lincoln SUV one day ones gonna pull out and wham.

Sorry for rambling I just think my Anti-Luxury-Suv needs some moral support. =)
2001-12-06 11:52:35 AM  
i talk on my cell while driving, not often but i do. I'm actually a better driver when on the phone... probably because i know the dangers. plus, my phone already has voice activated dialing.

don't understand how people can't learn to use technology already available to them at a more than reasonable cost.
2001-12-06 12:01:45 PM  
I know when my roommates call me on the cell phone I fall immediately into "Yes.....uh huh......uh huh......yep.......I know......" mode, and totally tune them out and watch the roadway.
2001-12-06 12:04:53 PM  
"Not all people that have oposing opinions to yours are too stupid to understand what your saying."

Cranky: I never said you were stupid. Please don't make me out to be discourteous, like a cell-phone driver. :)

Here's one source where I get my opinion. It was classic when they got a tape of a US senator rear-ending someone while he was giving a cell-phone interview:
2001-12-06 12:31:43 PM  
A voice accuated AccuJack?
2001-12-06 01:40:09 PM  
I came up with this after a quick search:

Itasca, IL - Conversing on cell phones while driving can lead to significant decreases in driving performance, according to a new study reported in the August/September 2001 issue of the National Safety Council's Injury Insights. The study found that driver distractions due to cell phones can occur regardless of whether hand-held or hands-free cell phones are used, and that cell phone conversations create much higher levels of driver distractions than listening to the radio or audio books.

According to the study's authors, the findings suggest that legislative initiatives that restrict hand-held devices, but permit hands-free devices, in motor vehicles are not likely to significantly reduce driver distractions associated with cell phone conversations.
2001-12-06 01:55:46 PM  
I'm gonna build a damn hand that'll come out of the middle of my steering wheel and whack me off, so I can keep both my hands on the steering wheel.

Safety first, ya know?
2001-12-06 02:00:16 PM  
So you can talk on your cell phone, read e mail, read the paper, have a coffe and watch tv while your driving but if you drink one beer they take away your licence?
2001-12-06 02:22:40 PM  
I'd rather wait until I got in the office to read my email than risk my life and the lives of everyone else on the road to find out what latest spam I have.

Slightly OT, but about a year ago someone sent out a bunch of spam with my primary email address -- a Hotmail address -- forged as the return address. I sent a heads-up to abuse@hotmail telling them that this had happened and that I was NOT the one that did it. They responded with a PERSONAL message telling me that they had seen that plenty of times before and not to worry about it. It didn't seem to be one of their 5000 pre-canned messages, although I guess it could have been.
2001-12-06 02:27:56 PM  
20/20: That deserves an
img.fark.comView Full Size
2001-12-06 04:36:19 PM  
Henchman: My dad and I did that all the time when we saw someone yakking on the phone! You're right, it DOES piss them off to no end!

I am pretty good at switching tapes while driving, though.....
2001-12-06 09:15:32 PM  
It's not enough to talk on a cell phone, change CD's/radio stations, slap your kids/wife/pet, eat, watch tv on your dashboard DVD player and apply makeup at the same time, oh no. You must also make your car talk while doing this!
2001-12-06 11:05:38 PM  
What. I can barely tune my radio while drive. Then again, I can barely listen to music while I drive. Then again, I can barely drive.
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