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NHTSA’s distracted driving draft gets aftermarket industry criticism

Friday, April 14, 2017 - 07:00
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There has been a torrent of criticism directed at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) draft of distracted driving guidelines for the aftermarket.

NHTSA published its second (Phase 2) of three anticipated distracted driving guidelines at the end of November 2016. The final guidelines for OEMs (Phase 1) was published a few years ago.

NHTSA held a public meeting with groups in 2014 to get input into the portable aftermarket device (PAD) guidelines, but somehow published a draft that nearly every industry segment opposes for one reason or another.

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), says, "The prescriptive technology recommendations set forth in the proposed guidelines are simply unworkable in today’s mobile ecosystem."

The Phase 2 draft attempts to build on Phase 1, which established recommended  acceptance criteria for driver glance behavior where single average glances away from the forward roadway are two seconds or less and where the sum of the durations of all individual glances away from the forward roadway are 12 seconds or less while performing a testable task, such as selecting a song from a satellite radio station.

The proposed Phase 2 guidelines present two concurrent approaches for mitigating distraction associated with the use of portable and aftermarket devices by drivers. The first describes certain tasks that would be "locked out" where the portable and OE in-vehicle systems are designed so they can be easily paired to each other and operated through the OE in-vehicle interface. This is the "Pairing" option."

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