Ever wonder who makes the decisions on what is considered safe and unsafe in automobiles? His name is David Strickland and he’s the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Strickland’s team must decide whether the new gadgets like streaming video, Wi-Fi hotspots and voice-controlled social media flooding new automobiles is safe or dangerous. The NHTSA is the organization that’s worked with legislators to pass bills banning texting while driving in 35 states.
Recently Strickland was interviewed by technologyreview.com about whether he thinks technologies being added to cars are making cars safer or more dangerous on the road. He also addresses the future of automobile technology we can expect to see.
Some interesting takeaways from the interview:
Strickland believes that the biggest issue is the younger generations behind the wheel. We live in an age where it’s “considered socially rude to not respond within a handful of seconds to a tweet or Facebook post,” and the NHTSA is trying to discover ways to encourage people to be disconnected while driving.
He addresses the fact that technology is advancing faster than any related regulation. The NHTSA is trying to discover solutions that both support the driver (example: provide interfaces that block services while driving) and that the market wants.
NHTSA plans to implement guidelines on car-to-car connectivity by 2013. The idea is that cars that can “talk” to each other provides for safer roads.
He also talks about other possible new technologies that he hopes to implement in vehicles, such as an automatic crash notification that would help first responders properly address and treat people who’ve been in an accident.
Check out the full article here.