Is technology making a young drivers choice harder?

Technology is designed to help and simplify things that would often take longer to accomplish without it. With technology constantly evolving and more ideas gaining pace, are the boundaries between what’s helpful and what hinders, becoming slightly blurred?

Apple added to the technology race last week at the Geneva Motor Show, announcing it was rolling out CarPlay, the “smarter, safer and more fun way” to use an iPhone in the car. With Government figures showing that more than 500,000 motorists still use mobile phones at the wheel illegally, some industry hot shots say it’s welcome.

The aim of the system is to allow motorist to use their phone but in a safer way – with just a word or touch. The technology is being adopted by the likes of Skoda, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, VW, Volvo and Mitsubishi. Other manufacturers aiming to use the technology in the near future are: Ford, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, KIA, Nissan, Peugeot, Citroën and Suzuki. Many young drivers could see this as a massive plus point when buying a car or choosing between a car that has the built in tech and one that doesn’t.

CarPlay in effect, installs the functions of a phone into your car so that you can control your iPhone — via Siri, by touching the voice control button on the steering wheel and speaking an order. Instead of stopping to make a call or fumbling illegally with your phone, you’ll be able to activate Siri without becoming distracted, claims Apple.

Other functions will include accessing contacts, returning missed calls or listening to voicemail. When incoming messages or notifications arrive, Siri will read them out when prompted and let users dictate a message. Pioneer and Alpine say their multimedia systems will support CarPlay. If you are moving to a new car, CarPlay will be standard on some cars, an optional extra on others. For instance, on Volvo’s new XC90 T8, it will be an optional extra at a cost of £250.

Texting while driving makes a driver four times more likely to crash. Talking on a phone while driving can make a young driver’s reaction time as slow as that of a 70 year old. Unfortunately we live in a society where technology is king, young adults will always feel like they have a need for smartphones and this isn’t likely to change. Car manufacturers are now working on a new wave of connectivity systems. Several have chosen to go with either Apple’s CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto. However, these two are unlikely to be cross-compatible. If you are a car manufacturer that has chosen to go with Android, can you still sell your car to a committed Apple smartphone user?