With all the buzz about distracted driving these days, in addition to a consumer frenzy over Apple’s new iPhone, BMW is stepping up to the plate to create a win-win situation. The German automaker is working on technology that would integrate the new iPhone into it’s vehicles, but in a safe manner that wouldn’t distract drivers and take their attention off the road. Now, connecting your phone or MP3 radio to your stereo via bluetooth technology is nothing new. Drivers have been utilizing such technology for years now.
According to this news article, the company hopes to use it’s existing iDriver interface, and develop it further to enrich the user’s experience while still putting safety at the forefront. As opposed to taking your eyes off the road and playing with the iPhone or iPod touchscreen in order to engage apps, the system would utilize BMW’s jogwheel-like central console controls. Ultimately, the company aims for the driver or passenger to use all of their iPhone apps while driving.
As a Seattle personal injury lawyer, I can’t help but cringe at the thought of a car accident caused by using apps while driving. I think BMW is making the assumption that people won’t be able to give up using their phones while driving, so they hope to find a way to at least make it safer. However, regardless of the control system interface, I’m skeptical about the safety of someone who is more concerned about posting their next “tweet” instead of regulating their speed or looking both ways before making their next turn.