<title> OnStar’s New Facebook Connectivity: Innovative or Reckless? </title>

OnStar’s New Facebook Connectivity: Innovative or Reckless?

It seems that cars are continuing to get smarter. These days, we can navigate without maps, parallel park without touching the wheel, and make a phone call without laying a finger on our mobile. Technology has come to the rescue on many accounts—for those that get distracted changing the station on the radio, we have controls on the steering wheel; for those that can’t handle driving with a phone on the ear, we have hands-free calling features. Now, for those that fumble with their Smartphones to check friends’ status updates, we have OnStar’s new Facebook connectivity. The question is: Is this really a step in a safer direction, or is the feature actually more dangerous for drivers?

OnStars Facebook Connectivity

The program is being test-run by GM, attempting to compete with the already-established Sync system used by Ford. Whereas Ford offers many features that will be part of the new OnStar system, it certainly doesn’t connect with social media. The new Facebook connectivity will not only read newsfeed that would appear from your friends, but will allow you to verbally give status updates—as well as practice voice texting from the car. This will open the social media superpower not only to mobile devices such as cell phones and PDAs, but also vehicles.

So how about safety?

OnStars Facebook Connectivity

No true test of safety has been performed, as the program is still in testing. However, there are a few considerations we could look at without any testing necessary. Texting while driving is an incredibly risky business, and one that is practiced by many. Giving texting a hands-free option may sound a bit oxymoronic, but also a bit safer. The same would go for any who use their mobile devices to check the social media site for updates while on the road. This will keep drivers from veering sight away from the road, as well as keep their hands on the wheel in the case of an emergency situation.

While these possible benefits do in fact exist, the Facebook connectivity could still pose a great risk for drivers. It seems common sense that this would be a distraction—whether listening to others’ updates, or prompting your own. Focus on turns and other crazy drivers on the road would be competing with witty remarks about the guy in the next lane, or song lyrics spouting off from the radio. Beyond it being concretely, is it really smart to introduce something that is even potentially unsafe—particularly something that seems so frivolous and unnecessary?

OnStars Facebook Connectivity

Without a doubt, many will push all thoughts of safety to the backs of their minds, dwelling on the innovative nature of the program and excited that they will never be “out of the loop”—regardless of what street they may be on. Others, however, will turn a skeptical eye on the Facebook program and understand that the risks likely don’t outweigh the benefits. No matter what drivers decide to do, it seems that technology is bringing cars even closer to the increasingly powerful world of digital communication—for better or for worse.

Sarah Danielson writes for Quotezone, a website that specializes in motorhome insurance.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...