This Is How Dangerous It Is to Use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto While Driving

Android Auto and CarPlay distraction 7 photos
Photo: TRL Limited
Android Auto and CarPlay distraction testAndroid Auto and CarPlay distraction testAndroid Auto and CarPlay distraction testAndroid Auto and CarPlay distraction testAndroid Auto and CarPlay distraction testAndroid Auto and CarPlay distraction test
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay both are super-useful systems whose adoption keeps growing, but at the same time, it’s also not a secret that they can become one of the main source of distraction behind the wheel.
This is the reason they don’t allow you to type when driving, for example, but on the other hand, many drivers might just keep looking at the screen for navigation, music playback, or things like that.

Research conducted by TRL Limited for IAM RoadSmart reveals interacting with CarPlay and Android Auto significantly increases the reaction time, which in turn means that the risk of accident in much higher.

The study included two different trials, one for Android Auto and another one for CarPlay, with 20 participants for each of them. A total of three drives on a simulated test route were analyzed, including a control drive without interaction with an on-board system, a voice enabled drive with digital assistant interaction by voice, and a third drive with touch input on the car’s screen.

The findings pretty much speak for themselves.

The reaction times increased substantially when using the two systems, especially when touch input was necessary.

Participants significantly reduced their average speeds while performing the music and navigation tasks using the touch feature, in both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Furthermore, participants using Android Auto showed a significant reduction in average speeds while performing the texting and calling tasks using both voice and touch features,” the study reveals.

When asked to maintain the same distance to the vehicle in front, most drivers failed to do so after interacting with Android Auto and CarPlay, and researchers say they also noticed deviation in lane position when using touch control.

Furthermore, participants moved their eyes away from the road for more than 12 seconds when using Android Auto and CarPlay for things like selecting music, reading a text, or making a call. This time was reduced when voice control was used, to align with the NHTSA guidelines.

In general, driving performance was more negatively impacted when using touch control to interact with the systems compared with voice control. Participants were able to keep their eyes on the road more when using voice control than touch control, and were more likely to identify stimuli that required attention. Despite this, most participants reported using touch rather than voice control in their real-world driving,” the study concludes.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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