PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A new study from AAA shows Apple and Google are leading the way in creating technology that is less distracting to drivers than those that come with the car.
The Foundation for Traffic Safety found drivers using certain smartphone technology were distracted for less time than when those drivers were using the cars’ built in systems, about five to 15 seconds less.
“We’ve actually found that cars built in the last few years that utilize Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are performing better than the native systems,” Diana Imondi, manager of Traffic Safety Programs AAA Northeast, said.
Imondi showed Eyewitness News one of the types of vehicles studied that allows drivers to use either a built in system and Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
“We tested about 30, 2017 and 2018 vehicles and asked their drivers to perform the basic tasks,” she said. “In initiating a phone conversation, we saw a difference in about five seconds between Google CarPlay and Android Auto and the native system built into the car and about 15 seconds difference in the amount of time the driver was distracted in programing their navigation.”
While the report shows this technology may lower the distraction time, AAA still urges drivers to perform those tasks while parked and to keep their attention on the road.
“Just because your car can do it does not mean you are safe performing those functions behind the wheel,” Imondi said.
Rhode Island is still in the first month of the hands free law and Imondi said they are looking forward to seeing how the law impacts distracted driving incidents.