A study completed by IAM RoadSmart has highlighted the level of distraction caused by the latest in-car infotainment offerings from Apple & Android in particular.

The last few years have seen significant developments for in-car infotainment systems. It’s not just the high-end luxury brands that have advanced connectivity. With over 500 models to choose from Apple now claims that every major manufacturer offers models with Apple CarPlay options.

Neil Greig, policy and research director at IAM RoadSmart, said: “While previous research indicates that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto perform better than more traditional buttons and controls, the results from this latest study raise some serious concerns. Anything that distracts a driver’s eyes or mind from the road is bad news for road safety. We’re now calling on industry and government to openly test and approve such systems and develop consistent standards that genuinely help minimise driver distraction.”

So what causes these distractions?

Of course how the driver interacts with these new systems has a huge impact on how distracting they are, with touch interactions having the biggest impact. Interestingly the research shows that even when using a voice command via systems like Siri have a more significant impact then a standard hands-free phone (likely due to the enhanced capabilities).

IAM infographic

For the next generation of drivers, having the functionality of their phone at their finger tips, without actually having the device in your hand, seems almost inevitable. But how can we ensure safety takes priority over staying connected?