Seven in 10 are distracted by in-car techCarmakers should make them simpler to use

14 April 2012

Robot hand using in car technology

Seven in ten say in-car technology has distracted them from driving

A Which? investigation into modern in-car technology systems has found that one in seven people find them distracting when they are driving.

Which? asked more than 1,000 of its members, to gauge how distracting they found their in-car tech systems.

Of those surveyed, 241 members had a modern in-car tech system, featuring a variety of control functions, such as a touchscreen, click wheel and dashboard buttons.

72% distracted by in-car tech

While the majority said they’d rather have one of these modern in-car technology systems than not, worryingly, 72% of them said the system had distracted them from driving.

BMW logo

Premium brands like BMW were easiest to use in our test

Premium brands have simplest in-car tech

To find out which car brands have the best in-car tech, Which? tested systems from eight of the UK’s best-selling car brands, rating them for ease of use, both when the car is stationary and being driven.

We found that systems from premium brands, such as BMW and Mercedes were the easiest to use. They offered the best package of in-car entertainment, navigation, climate and communication features and controls.

In contrast, systems from mainstream carmakers, including Peugeot and Ford, fared far worse, proving confusing and difficult to use.

In-car tech best practice charter

The investigation also found that there was a baffling number of different ways to carry out the same tasks in each car – something that we really think should be simplified.

As a result, Which? has put together a 10-point in-car tech best practice charter that we want manufacturer’s to stick to when developing new in-car tech.

Richard Headland, Which? Motoring Editor, said: ‘We know people want systems in their car that integrate audio, phone, sat nav and other functions, but we want strong guidelines to focus carmakers on creating less distracting systems.’

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