Vehicles are quickly becoming high-tech toys on wheels and some automakers still haven’t perfected their infotainment systems.
While some systems are better than others, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released a new study which claims Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are less distracting than infotainment systems created by automakers.
While this seems subjective at first glance, the organization says performing complex tasks with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay were quicker than using traditional infotainment systems. AAA notes these systems can make a phone call 24 percent (5 seconds) faster than native infotainment systems and users can program the navigation system 31 percent (15 seconds) quicker.
A few seconds doesn’t sound like much but it can make the difference between life and death. As AAA explains, “drivers who take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds double their risk of a crash.” The group went on to note that distracted driving is responsible for more than 390,000 injuries and 3,500 deaths every year in the United States.
As part of the study, AAA teamed up with researchers from the University of Utah to evaluate five vehicles including the Honda Ridgeline, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Silverado, Kia Optima and Ram 1500. They then tested the various infotainment systems against Android Auto with LG K7 and Google Pixel 2 smartphones as well as Apple CarPlay with an iPhone 7.
Overall, the results weren’t good for manufacture systems as their overall demand on users was rated “Very High.” In comparison, both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay had “Moderate” levels of demand.
AAA says Android Auto and Apple CarPlay “decrease the demand placed on drivers compared to similar technologies offered by automakers.” However, they cautioned both still create potentially unsafe levels of distraction and complex tasks shouldn’t be attempted while driving.