Larry Magid: Feds Want To Look At Apps That May Be Distracting Drivers
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A new measure proposed by the Obama Administration would give federal officials the authority to set restrictions on the use of mapping and traffic apps if they are deemed to be dangerous.
We’ve talked about this before, but many of the apps are easier to use than the GPS included in some cars. The rule change proposed here is part of a transportation act that has been submitted to Congress.
The car makers comply with the government’s rules about GPS, but the app developers are on their own and can do whatever they want. I’m generally not a fan of government regulation because sometimes it’s not necessary, but I do think something needs to be done about these apps because as great as they are (believe me I use them all the time) they do present some kind of distraction and can be dangerous if people aren’t using them responsibly.
One way we could improve the technology to make it safer so that the government doesn’t have to intervene is by improving voice recognition. We have to get to the point where we really don’t have to look at or touch our phones at all.
Siri on the iPhone and other types of voice recognition is getting better as time goes by. Apps that require hand-eye coordination should be very large and things should be really simple and simplicity should be substituted for complexity whenever possible.