Friday, January 8, 2010

Driven to Distraction

The NY Times seems to be in the middle of a long series on all the life-threatening things people do while they drive, texting and talking on the phone being highest on the list. Yesterday the newspaper featured a story about car companies building computer screens into car dashboards. There's so much that stupid about this I can't even start to get my head around it, but maybe the stupidest design trick of all is this:

"The technology and car companies say that safety remains a priority. They note that they are building in or working on technology like voice commands and screens that can simultaneously show a map to the driver and a movie to a front-seat passenger, as in the new Jaguar XJ."

I love that the first sentence of that paragraph states that the car companies say safety is a priority. It must be some kind of weird double speak because if you ask me, it would be a helluva lot safer for the map to show up on the passenger side of the screen while the driver's side stays blank. Can you imagine trying to read a map on a dashboard while driving? I tell you, if we were on a family trip and my husband tried to do that, it would not be pretty. Not pretty at all.

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