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Speech-to-text distracting drivers

2013-06-12 12:31

DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION: A study reveals that drivers may be distracted behind the wheel while using hands-free voice recognition systems. Image – Ford

WASHINGTON, USA - Speech-to-text devices in cars fail to overcome the well-known perils of hands-on texting while driving, a US study reveals.

Developing standards for measuring cognitive distraction behind the wheel, University of Utah researchers wired the heads of 32 drivers with sensors.

The participants were given an array of tests in simulators and vehicles.


While the research is ongoing, early findings suggest that sending texts with a hands-free voice recognition system proved more distracting than listening to the radio or conversing with passengers.

The study said: "This clearly suggests that the adoption of voice-based systems in the vehicle may have unintended consequences that adversely affect traffic safety.

"Just because a new technology does not take the eyes off the road does not make it safe to be used while the vehicle is in motion."

The 12 men and 20 women who participated in the study ranged in age from 18 - 33. Drivers had clean driving records and confessed to regularly using their cell phones while driving.

In a report in 2012, the National Safety Council estimated that 24% of vehicle crashes in the USA involve cell phone use, despite bans in several states that are openly flaunted by many motorists.
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