Using your voice instead of your hands when selecting music, inputting addresses into your navigation system and dialing the phone while driving can help you reduce distraction and thus your risk of accidents and increasingly significant fines. These were the results of an In-Car Distraction Study conducted by the Technical University of Brunswick in Germany.

The test exposed drivers in a driving simulator to a range of driving skills assessments all while simultaneously selecting music on a media player, making phone calls and setting the address on a satellite-based navigation system.
The most significant finding of the study is that speech recognition significantly reduces distraction and reaction time and helps drivers keep to their lanes.
Helps Keep Eyes On The Road
The safety gains result mainly from lower visual distraction when controlling in-car systems by voice instead of manually. The analysis of drivers’ eye movements revealed that voice commands helps drivers keep their eyes on the road, reducing driver distraction to almost zero for music selection and less than 10 percent for phone dialing and destination entry as compared to manual entry, which requires the driver to look at the device and takes 2 to 3 times longer.
Faster Reaction With Speech
Having the eyes focused on the traffic instead of the in-car systems reduces the time that car drivers need to react to traffic circumstances. The reaction time of the drivers controlling the in-car systems manually was up to 200 percent higher than when using voice commands.
Better Driving With Speech
The test drivers not only reacted faster when using their voice to input information, but they were also able to have better control of their vehicle. On average, speech input resulted in up to 60 percent less deviation from the ideal lane.
Technology enhancements such as Natural Language Understanding, as developed by Nuance, go one step further and enable speech interfaces to accept multiple variables in a single voice command, such as “Go to Broad Street, Philadelphia.” Most of today’s speech-enabled, in-car navigation systems, such as the Ford SYNC and new models of Mercedes and Infiniti, use Nuance speech technology.
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