Social networking for drivers coming soon?


27 Oct 2010

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A new way to pick up penalty points could be on its way as in-car social networking services for motorists could soon be made available.

According to the research firm iSuppli Corp, the rise in popularity of social networking among fidgety-fingered motorists has encouraged the company to provide a voice-activated command solution to improve safety on the roads.

“The automobile is no longer a communications dead zone that prohibits drivers from staying connected to friends and family via various options such as calling, texting and even tweeting and Facebooking,” said Anna Buettner, analyst and regional manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) automotive research at iSuppli.

Voice-activated infotainment

“With the expanding array of communications options, many drivers are willing to take the risk of an accident simply because they want to read or reply to a text message or check and update their preferred social media site. iSuppli believes that voice-activated infotainment solutions can have a significant impact on minimising driver distraction when engaging in social networking activities.”

Ford Sync – a factory-installed in-car communication and entertainment system – has set the standard for voice-activated in-vehicle communication systems and recently, General Motors’ OnStar joined Ford in its efforts and announced – via Twitter – that it is developing new functionality in the coming months, including integration with Facebook. OnStar also is conducting tests for voice-based texting.