According to a recent study from AAA.
Built-in infotainment systems have become standard features these days from OEMs along with smartphone-based Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But which is more distracting to drivers? According to recent AAA study, it’s the former. AAA’s work consisted of a comparison test using a 2017 Honda Ridgeline, 2017 Ford Mustang GT, 2018 Chevrolet Silverado, 2018 Kia Optima, and a 2018 Ram 1500 Laramie – all of which can run smartphone-based systems.
What AAA learned is quite interesting: when drivers made phone calls, the smartphone-based systems took 24 percent, or roughly 5 seconds, less time than their OEM system counterparts (31 percent less time, or around 15 seconds) when using navigation. Even with less demanding tasks such as listening to the radio while driving, the smartphone-based systems proved less time consuming. AAA explains that “drivers who take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds double their risk of a crash.” Apple CarPlay and Android Auto require about the same time for using. However, there were still a few situations where one is better than the other.
For example, Apple CarPlay is slightly better for sending texts with the touchscreen interface. Android Auto is a bit better for voice controls and navigation. But still, the more complex task of navigation input is still quite time-consuming and demanding regardless whether the driver is using an OEM or smartphone system. AAA found that in one instance it took 33 seconds to type in the necessary nav info. With the test vehicle traveling at 25 mph, the speed at which all testing was conducted, 33 seconds translates into the distance length of three football fields. A lot can happen in just 300 yards.
The study’s general conclusion, according to AAA, is that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto “decrease the demand placed on drivers compared to similar technologies offered by automakers,” but any system is still a cause for distraction with potentially fatal consequences.