Apple CarPlay and Android Auto react quicker than native infotainment systems

In its latest automotive safety report, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety measured the distraction times required for drivers to complete typical in-car infotainment tasks and the results showed Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s Carplay were significantly faster on average than car manufacturer’s native infotainment systems. The smartphone apps were 24 percent (five seconds) faster when making phone calls and 31 percent (15 seconds) faster programming navigation than standard car systems.

Even with faster performance than in-car systems, however, the smartphone apps were overly demanding. According to the AAA, drivers double their crash risk when they take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds. The group stated that distracted driving causes 3,500 deaths and 390,000 injuries annually.

AAA placed a positive spin on the CarPlay and Android Auto performance, however, even though the driver demand was still significant with the smartphone apps.

“Google and Apple are proving that it is possible to reduce the level of demand in-vehicle infotainment technology places on drivers,” David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said in a statement. “While improvements are necessary before any of the systems can be considered safe to use while driving, this research shows that smartphone-based software has the potential to offer a simpler, more familiar design that is less confusing to drivers, and therefore less demanding.”

The Foundation for Traffic Safety measured visual and mental demands on drivers completing typical infotainment tasks with five 2017 and 2018 vehicles. University of Utah researchers compared the demand on drivers with CarPlay, Android Auto, and the vehicles’ standard systems.

The researchers considered CarPlay and Android Auto roughly equivalent in visual demand, mental demand, and the time needed to complete infotainment tasks. Overall, the group rated the smartphone apps “moderately demanding” and the native systems “very highly demanding.”

AAA recommends that vehicle manufacturers and industry suppliers combine their efforts to develop infotainment technology with low driver demand levels.

“Automakers are experts at building safer cars, but Google and Apple are more skilled at building safer vehicle infotainment technology,” Marshall Doney, AAA president and CEO, said in a statement. “By leveraging their strengths, the two industries must work together to significantly improve the design, functionality, and safety of these technologies.”

Product Review

The Porsche Cayenne is a family-hauler with the soul of a sports car

Now in its third generation, the 2019 Porsche Cayenne boasts updated styling, features, and performance hardware within deceptively similar bodywork. With improved rivals, the Cayenne needs to dazzle to stay ahead of the pack.
Cars

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.
Cars

Kia’s HabaNiro concept is an autonomous electric car that knows when you’re sad

Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, the Kia HabaNiro concept is supposed to preview the future of the everyday car. That future will include artificial intelligence tech that can read the driver's emotions, according to Kia.
Cars

The 2020 Toyota Yaris offers big car tech in a small, Mazda-flavored package

Toyota resurrected the Yaris nameplate with a little bit of help from Mazda. Closely related to the Mazda2, the hatchback now stands out with a sharper design than before, and tech features normally found on bigger, more expensive cars.
Cars

Drywall or kayaks? The 2020 Toyota Highlander is ready for your weekend plans

Toyota introduced the 2020 Highlander ahead of its public debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The fourth-generation Highlander is bigger than its predecessor, and it comes with more tech features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Cars

2020 Acura TLX PMC Edition is an ordinary sedan built in a supercar factory

What's so special about the 2020 Acura TLX PMC Edition? It's built at the Acura Performance Manufacturing Center, the Ohio factory that makes the NSX supercar. The TLX PMC Edition debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show.
Cars

With drift mode, Kia’s Stinger GTS lets you unleash your inner hooligan

Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, the limited-edition Kia Stinger GTS gets a trick all-wheel drive system that should enable plenty of sideways action. But only 800 buyers will get to try it.
Cars

Technology trickles down from above to make the new 2019 Audi Q3 smarter

The redesigned 2019 Audi Q3 makes its U.S. debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The firm's smallest SUV receives tech features like a virtual cockpit and a single screen variant of MMI Touch Response from bigger models.
Cars

Mercedes-Benz gives the tech-savvy 2020 CLA more power at New York Auto Show

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation CLA during CES 2019, and it will expand the lineup when it unveils a midrange model named CLA 35 at the upcoming 2019 New York Auto Show.
Cars

More tech and more space make the Mercedes-Benz GLS the S-Class of the SUV world

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation GLS at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The company's biggest and most luxurious SUV gains more tech features in its quest to become the S-Class of the SUV world.
Cars

Would you buy the Tarok compact pickup truck? Volkswagen wants to know

The Volkswagen Tarok pickup truck concept will make its United States debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The truck first appeared at the 2018 Sao Paulo Auto Show, and VW wants to see what U.S. buyers think of it.
Cars

Sick of civilization? Volkswagen’s Atlas Basecamp concept lets you get away

Volkswagen revealed the Atlas Basecamp concept ahead of its debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. Built for overlanding, this family-hauler was upgraded jointly by Volkswagen and aftermarket manufacturers.
Cars

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo sheds weight, uses racing tricks to stay sharp

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo isn't dramatically different from the 2019 model, but Nissan made changes where it counts. The updated GT-R Nismo is lighter and offers better aerodynamic performance, according to Nissan.
Cars

16 arrested in theft of up to 100 Car2Go ridesharing vehicles in Chicago

As many as 100 Mercedes-Benz vehicles belonging to carsharing service Car2Go were stolen in Chicago. Police are still working to recover all of the cars, which are equipped with GPS, and 16 people are in custody.