Global Automakers

Driver Distraction Guidelines Require Flexibility to Support Innovation

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November 23, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC, NOV 23, 2016 – Global Automakers appreciates the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) efforts to address issues of distracted drivers more broadly through the release of its Phase II Distraction Guidelines. With the rapid pace of innovation, however, the Agency should maintain flexibility as interaction between the driver and technology evolves in a connected and automated vehicle environment.  

“With the rapid development of new technologies, we are concerned  about whether the Agency guidelines provide sufficient flexibility to adapt in an environment where there are multiple ways drivers can interact with devices: visual, manual, voice, and gesture,” said John Bozzella, president and CEO of Global Automakers.   “Government and industry stakeholders should continue to explore holistic, flexible, and technology-neutral approaches to address driver inattention.” 

NHTSA announced Phase I Distracted Guidelines in 2012 to encourage automobile manufacturers to limit the distraction risk for in-vehicle electronic devices.  Those voluntary guidelines apply to manufacturer installed communications, entertainment, information gathering and navigation devices or functions that are not required to safely operate the vehicle.  Phase II proposed guidelines address devices or systems that are not built into the vehicle and are used while driving. These items include aftermarket and portable personal electronic devices such as navigation systems, smart phones, and electronic tablets.

“The Phase II guidelines demonstrate the Agency’s efforts to address how electronic devices are used by drivers,” said Bozzella.  “As people become more connected, it is important that there is a level playing field for all devices, whether they are built into the vehicle or brought in by the driver.”

Global Automakers looks forward to continuing its collaboration with NHTSA on the shared goal of improving roadway safety. 

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The Association of Global Automakers, Inc. represents international motor vehicle manufacturers, original equipment suppliers, and other automotive-related trade associations. We work with industry leaders, legislators, and regulators to create the kind of public policy that improves vehicle safety, encourages technological innovation, and protects our planet. Our goal is to foster a competitive environment in which more vehicles are designed and built to enhance Americans’ quality of life. For more information, visit www.globalautomakers.org.

 

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