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Travel Tip: In-Car Technology

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Facebook check ins, Twitter updates, personalized radio stations, and podcast playlists. We’re not talking about the latest smartphone apps. These are features that are being built into the driver’s seat of our vehicles!

These days, we’re seeing technology like the Cadillac CUE, which is basically an iPad-like device integrated into your car; or the Ford Sync, which connects to your phone for voice-operated text messaging, audio Facebook updates, and turn-by-turn navigation.

Here’s how the auto manufacturers see it: We don’t really change our lifestyle when we travel, and we have a need for connectivity and real-time information.

So the way the manufacturers explain it is these devices are  making things safer for drivers by using voice-activated controls, touch-screens, and audio updates.

But there’s one issue that the technology doesn’t take into account: cognitive distractions. Yes, your hands may be on the wheel and your eyes on the road, but that doesn’t mean your mind is on the very important task at hand—like DRIVING A CAR.

So before you jump on the technology bandwagon, pay attention to what’s part of the package, and think about how connected you really need to be while you’re behind the wheel.

For more information, visit the Driving & Car Rental archives.

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