Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 8th Nov 2016 12:14 UTC
Android

But we know there are millions of older cars on the road that are not compatible with Android Auto, and many don't have a screen at all. We wanted to bring the same connected experience to these drivers too.

So today we're excited to introduce a whole new way to use Android Auto: right on your phone screen! This update allows anyone with an Android phone (running 5.0 or later) to use a driver friendly interface to access the key stuff you need on the road - directions, music, communications - without the distraction of things that aren't essential while driving.

It's not the UI of a phone that causes the distraction; it's the act of communicating with people not in your car that causes the distraction.

Don't use messaging or calling applications while driving. You are a danger to others and yourself, no matter how hard people always protest that "it doesn't apply to them". You can slap large touch targets on a dangerous activity, like Apple and Google do, but that doesn't make it any less inherently and deeply dangerous. You are toying with lives.

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So connected, yet so impossible to update
by Kochise on Tue 8th Nov 2016 13:58 UTC
Kochise
Member since:
2006-03-03

So excited they are about to jizz in their pants (v=4pXfHLUlZf4) or what ? It's just a fucking car the driver is supposed to control. Don't make the headlines buddies :

http://mashable.com/2016/10/28/snapchat-selfie-driving-police-car/

Reply Score: 2

Wrong.
by charlieg on Tue 8th Nov 2016 14:41 UTC
charlieg
Member since:
2005-07-25

A man just went to jail in the UK because he drove a lorry into stationary traffic, killing 3 children and 2 adults... because he was SELECTING MUSIC FROM HIS PHONE.

This whole, "Oh it's ok to only do XYZ" stuff is wrong. You still look away and focus on the phone. It is dangerous to look away for anything more than a glance. If you need to use your phone - whether to enter directions, select music, text message or watch porn - pull the f*** over or wait until you are stationary at a red light.

Edited 2016-11-08 14:42 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE: Wrong.
by flypig on Tue 8th Nov 2016 16:44 UTC in reply to "Wrong."
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

Yeah, this was a shocking story. The part that amazed me most was that "he had been so distracted he barely looked at the road for almost a kilometre". The scary part is I can imagine just how easily that could happen: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/37857416
(this article also has an interesting section comparing laws in various countries).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wrong.
by Lobotomik on Thu 10th Nov 2016 08:55 UTC in reply to "Wrong."
Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

If he had been picking music in his car's multimedia screen (or digging under the passenger seat for a cassette -- remember those?) he might've crashed just the same, but he would not be in jail.

Reply Score: 2

egarland
Member since:
2005-08-05

My wife and I got phones early in our driving careers. They were flip phones. I could call her without even looking at it. Press and hold 1, and it would call her.

We also learned to gracefully pause and resume conversations when driving requires attention. After I got my first smartphone I was seriously confused as to how to use them while driving. They're much much harder to use safely. I put an icon to call my wife on my home screen, but that requires waking, swiping to unlock, and eye hand coordination to hit that icon. A physical button I can do by feel without ever looking.

Smartphones are a huge regression in safety, and they're rightly prompting laws against their use, but these laws are overreaching. I'm positive a UI that is safe to use while driving is possible, even if it's voice command/audio response only. I desperately hope the smartphone makers can figure this one out. I'll agree that distraction is extremely important to avoid while driving, but I disagree that this is incompatible with phone use.

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Voice command is the only solution I've been able to find that works safely and reliably. Sadly, the only OS that ever got voice right for phone control while driving was Windows Phone 8.1 and earlier. With iOS and Android, I've found that the phone can barely understand me while driving, probably due to background noise. With all three systems, I've tested this with the phone's built in microphone, with a Bluetooth headset worn while driving, as well as the Bluetooth connection and external microphone built into the car stereo.

On Android one could easily blame the hardware, but I've never been able to get it to work with flagship phones nor cheap throwaway phones. I've tried it on a Samsung Note II, a BLU Life One X, a Nexus 4, 5, and 6, an HTC One S, and a handful of cheaper devices with the same results: It sucks!

With iOS it's even more embarassing, since Apple controls the hardware and the software. Siri simply cannot understand what I'm saying at all while driving. This was true on my 4S back in the day, as well as the iPhone 6 I had been using until recently. Sitting in a quiet room with the microphone held to my mouth as if for a regular conversation, it understood me most of the time. In a car driving down the road it was hopeless.

What I found simply astounding was that every Windows Phone device I've owned since the 7.x days could understand me perfectly, even cheap phones like the Lumia 521. This only changed with the introduction of Windows 10 Mobile, which rendered my Lumia 640 unable to understand me most of the time, putting it on the same level as iOS and Android. I'm not sure why that regressed, but it now means there is no true solution for in-car phone control in a way that I find safe. And no, large touchscreens in place of stereo controls isn't going to cut it; if I have to take my eyes off the road even for a split second, the system has already failed.

Reply Score: 2

gsyoungblood Member since:
2007-01-09

I'm with you. Windows Phone 7 and 8 were both much better and hands/eyes free operation in a car environment. It was the defining feature of the phones for me, and why I kept trying to give them a shot. In the end, I didn't spend enough time in the car to justify the annoyances of the phones when out of the car.

It was sad, I really tried to like it, just for the eyes-free operation in the car.

Whoever though disconnecting and reconnecting every time the phone was screen was turned off/on really messed up the windows phone experience. I got so tired of seeing that sliding dots at the top of the phone every time I tried to access some service that needed data. There was no turning the phone on, get a piece of data, turn the phone off in less then 20 to 30 seconds. I do it in less than 5 all the time with Android or even iOS on my tablet.

Reply Score: 1

daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

Exactly this. Even built-in touchscreens on modern cars need you to take your eyes and concentration off the road, and they're apparently approved for use while driving. That's without the smaller screen, navigating your phone's UI for unlocking, and the possibility that controls have moved due to installing new apps, a software update or whatever.

I like my Bluetooth kit, which I still use today. It has one big button and one twist ring and so is simple to operate without requiring any thinking or looking, and the phone stays in my pocket.

Reply Score: 2

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Maybe We are a small sampling of population. But conversation use a great chunk of my visual 'engine'. Using a bot service is also 'conversation'.

Reply Score: 2

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

This conversation issue is highly contextual: The amount of distraction is directly proportional to novelty|difficulty of my 'word-processing' or criticality of the issue.

Wife go on Copilot Mode and is ACTUALLY HELPING my driving. My wife KNOWS -years of common life- what exchanges could potentially distract me.

Could a humble UI?

Reply Score: 3

Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

This conversation issue is highly contextual: The amount of distraction is directly proportional to novelty|difficulty of my 'word-processing' or criticality of the issue.

Wife go on Copilot Mode and is ACTUALLY HELPING my driving. My wife KNOWS -years of common life- what exchanges could potentially distract me.

Could a humble UI?


Are you suggesting that polygamy is the answer (if everyone had your wife, it'd be fine)?

Some people might not be a distraction, and some people are screaming crack addicts. The law needs to apply to both (unless you have some way for the law to distinguish between them - some kind of license to talk?).

- Brendan

Edited 2016-11-09 13:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

No, Brendan. Informing -and not distracting- is an art worth years of understating another's mind. Far from the State of the Art in IT. 'Till now.

Leaving your adolescent gonads in place. This one.

Reply Score: 2

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Should say: 'understanding another's mind'.

Damn sika.

Reply Score: 2

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

[I was a biker all of my youth]. You survive by assuming worst scenarios as plausible and about to happen. As a matter of routine.

Reply Score: 2

minidev Member since:
2010-02-22

«OK Google / Hey Cortana / Hey Siri»
«Call wifeiy»

Isn't that safer than driving with one hand while the oder is opening the flip phone, trying to locate the correct button and pressing it?

;)

Reply Score: 2

daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

Yep, until you do that and it starts calling your boss instead. Or doesn't understand you and then you start trying to navigate a touchscreen by swiping from an unusual angle, which doesn't work as well as when you're holding it in your hand. Then you're scrolling, scrolling, scrolling... And you've run into a bus stop full of kids.

Reply Score: 4

MrHood Member since:
2014-12-02

«OK Google / Hey Cortana / Hey Siri»
«Call wifeiy»

Isn't that safer than driving with one hand while the oder is opening the flip phone, trying to locate the correct button and pressing it?

;)


Well, I don't think that's actually the whole point here...

Stopping at a nearby parking first and _then_ reaching out to your phone, or refraining at all from calling are even safer options... :-D

Reply Score: 2

Distraction
by vivainio on Tue 8th Nov 2016 15:28 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

What distracts people is personal I guess. I get massively distracted if I have to look at the phone, and if I have to hold a phone to my head (manual transmission checking in). Android Wear watch has been quite useful in dismissing calls w/ minimal distraction.

Just talking to a in-car phone should not be more distracting than talking to people in the car.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Distraction
by DannyBackx on Tue 8th Nov 2016 16:46 UTC in reply to "Distraction"
DannyBackx Member since:
2010-12-30

I often see people so absorbed by talking to the person next to them that they forget they're driving.

Given that, it almost makes as much sense to have a law against talking to the driver as the current laws against calling with a hand held phone.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Distraction
by dylansmrjones on Tue 8th Nov 2016 17:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Distraction"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Given that, it almost makes as much sense to have a law against talking to the driver as the current laws against calling with a hand held phone.


Well, that's the case in Denmark, at least in regard to bus drivers. I don't know if it is generally illegal to talk to the driver, but if it can be proven talking was a distraction for the driver that might increase the punishment.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Distraction
by dionicio on Tue 8th Nov 2016 21:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Distraction"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

'Don't distract the Driver' Are Quite generalized Rules. Tend to believe there is some Corp pressure on Gov about this [Ok with it, but not about forms]. Right way should go for Gov to make truly independent Research on the issue [taxes funded]. This is not quantum Science.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Distraction
by Carewolf on Tue 8th Nov 2016 17:59 UTC in reply to "Distraction"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

Just talking to a in-car phone should not be more distracting than talking to people in the car.


Research show otherwise. Please stop before you kill anyone.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Distraction
by Troels on Tue 8th Nov 2016 22:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Distraction"
Troels Member since:
2005-07-11

"Just talking to a in-car phone should not be more distracting than talking to people in the car.


Research show otherwise. Please stop before you kill anyone.
"

Have you actually seen any good research on it? The studies i have seen have always been far from realistic, with very different than normal "conversations", or using very far from real looking simulators with a crazy number of "traps".

Especially the "conversation" part i find silly. One approach i have seen repeated is spitting out short sentenses every 10 seconds asking you if they made sense followed up with asking you to repeat the last word. It is totally mechanical, no natural flow. Much of it will mess with you by being nonsense. Add to this that you are driving in an environment not very familiar to what most of us has spent a LOT of hours practicing in so just the driving is much harder than normal.

There is so much bullshit coming out of of universities that is eaten up as gospel by media and ngos. Just look at all the bullshit studies that contradict eachother about which foods are healthy/dangerous.

Reply Score: 2

Facetime for drivers
by CaptainN- on Tue 8th Nov 2016 15:52 UTC
CaptainN-
Member since:
2005-07-07

I agree with Thom's write up - so let's talk about tech solutions! How about a Facetime mode, where the caller can see the traffic situation of the driver. Ooh, or a hologram that projects the caller into the passenger seat!

Reply Score: 3

That's old news
by DigitalBob on Tue 8th Nov 2016 16:39 UTC
DigitalBob
Member since:
2011-08-19

My Atrix 4G in 2011 already had a car interface that you could bring up manually or automatically with the car dock. see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCBFdNMhCCw
I miss that phone, it was well ahead of it's time.

In fact, I think the car-interface was an app in AOSP and many subsequent Motorola phones used it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: That's old news
by CaptainN- on Tue 8th Nov 2016 19:02 UTC in reply to "That's old news"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

I switched from Moto X (first gen) to Nexus 6P - the moto in car solution is FAR superior to stock Android. It really isn't even close.

Reply Score: 2

Here we go again....
by grat on Tue 8th Nov 2016 19:55 UTC
grat
Member since:
2006-02-02

It's not the UI. It's not talking to people who are, or aren't, in your car. It's not doing your makeup, or eating breakfast, or trying to corral the kids in the back seat.

It's forgetting that you're controlling several tons of mass traveling at substantial speed. You're a rolling physics equation with Very Large Numbers.

It's literally being given control of a weapon of destruction, and NOT PAYING ANY ****** ATTENTION TO CONTROLLING IT!!!

There is no "distracted driving"-- there is "careless driving". Call it reckless driving, furious driving, careless driving, it's illegal in most places.

People are different-- some people can hold conversations and drive. Some can't. Some people have easy to navigate, functional controls on their cars, that make it easy to change what they're listening to, or what the temperature in the cabin is-- others have Ford infotainment systems (sorry, couldn't resist).

If you can't change your A/C settings without potentially losing control, DON'T DO IT. If you can't change a CD, a USB stick, or an 8-track tape without putting the vehicle (and others) at risk, DON'T DO IT.

Bottom line-- NOTHING you do while behind the wheel of the car should take away from the basic task of keeping your vehicle under control, at all times.

Even if you're "a multi-tasker" (and very few people are), taking your attention away from the road, and the cars around you, is a risk. Your reaction time slows, your perception isn't as sharp.

Minimize that risk by doing so when it's less dangerous.

Or, take a motorcycle safety course, and ride a motorcycle for 6-12 months. You'll be a much, much better driver, if you learn quickly enough (the alternative is painful, if not fatal). You'll get to the point where you know what cars are likely to do, before they do it, and if you practice what they teach in the safety class, you'll have an escape route ready when other drivers do something stupid.

All this focus on automation, AutoPilot, GPS, infotainment-- it's led people who know how to operate a motor vehicle-- but not how to drive it safely.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Here we go again....
by dionicio on Tue 8th Nov 2016 21:16 UTC in reply to "Here we go again...."
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Some new research suggest of multi-taskers not existing. Just fast-switchers. Will see...

Reply Score: 3

Nothing but an update...
by TemporalBeing on Tue 8th Nov 2016 23:04 UTC
TemporalBeing
Member since:
2007-08-22

...Android 2.x (Gingerbread) had the "Car Home" (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.car...) app. Reading about this, it's nothing more than a big update to *that* app, and making it more generally available.

Car Home, AFAIK, was only available on NexusOne with the CarDock. It was decent at the time. Comments in other posts here suggest it may have been AOSP available but only shipped for phones that had a Car Dock. It certainly wasn't widely known.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ins0mniac
by ins0mniac on Wed 9th Nov 2016 00:59 UTC
ins0mniac
Member since:
2008-10-01

I think it's very important where the screen is as well. During the holiday we've rented an Opel Adam with CarPlay and all that, but the screen is placed so low on the central console you always have to look down to see the navigation. I think that's really dangerous, not to mention that it displays messages as you receive them and you are tempted to read them, but during that time you are looking down, not on the road.
On the other hand BMW (also Audi and Mercedes) have placed the screen up on the dashboard, you only need to switch your focus without actually taking your eyes completely off the road. And you control it with a knob that's placed exactly where your hand rests, again without having to look at it. Even so I still find it very distracting trying to operate it during driving, so I generally only use it for accepting calls.

Edited 2016-11-09 01:00 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Dirty COW patched yet?
by Lazarus on Wed 9th Nov 2016 08:36 UTC
Lazarus
Member since:
2005-08-10

Seems Safe :-P

Reply Score: 2

Tablet VS Head Unit
by FunkyELF on Wed 9th Nov 2016 14:14 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

When Android Auto was first announced I looked at head units and they were like $1200. Now I guess they can be had a bit cheaper, but with this it might make sense to look at a decent tablet + car mount.
It wouldn't have as much integration as a real head unit, but I mostly care about just audio anyway.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Wed 9th Nov 2016 15:56 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

There's nothing a person needs to do while driving other than drive. Not texting, not phone calls, not looking for music. If you want to do any of that, pull your ass over and do it stopped so you aren't threatening the lives of other people with your selfishness and ignorance.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by dionicio on Wed 9th Nov 2016 19:45 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Amen. [%]D . Any ADDITIONAL distraction should be SERIOUSLY & INDEPENDENTLY Researched.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by Lobotomik on Thu 10th Nov 2016 09:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

driving through beautiful scenery should be forbidden

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by dionicio on Thu 10th Nov 2016 15:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Ouch! Touché, Lobotomik. Indeed is of concern to Transit Engineers.

Reply Score: 2

Pretty women...
by dionicio on Thu 10th Nov 2016 15:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Walking down the street... ;)

Reply Score: 2

Silence Please
by Lobotomik on Thu 10th Nov 2016 09:06 UTC
Lobotomik
Member since:
2006-01-03

It may be quite true that communicating with others distracts you from driving. Should it be forbidden to talk to your spouse while you drive to work? Or listen to talk shows on the radio? Or only to switch radio stations while moving?

Fiddling with the phone while you drive looks like a very bad idea, but I think, Tom, you are taking things too far.

Reply Score: 2