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To Prevent Distracted Driving, New App Distracts Drivers

11:03 AM EDT on August 18, 2014

The new dash-mounted technology system Navdy proposes making texting while driving easier. Image: Navdy
The new windshield display system Navdy aims to make texting while driving easier. Image: Navdy
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The new "heads-up" display system Navdy "feels like driving in the future," according to its producers. The dash-mounted projector displays images from your phone on your windshield. The idea is that you can text and drive while keeping your eyes focused in the right direction. "No more looking down to fumble with knobs, buttons or touch screens," goes the pitch.

James Sinclair at Stop and Move is not impressed:

What the product does is project information from your phone onto your windshield. Some of that information is relevant to driving, such as map navigation, and possibly in the future parking information from SF Park. The rest? Not so much.

Apparently driving is so boring that drivers cannot resist texting and checking emails for the duration of their trip. Navdy comes to the rescue by blowing up your text messages onto your windshield so you don't have to deal with the monotony of driving by instead engaging in a titillating text-based conversation.

The worst part is that this group of entrepreneurs is trying to pitch this as a way to PREVENT distracted driving. Their reasoning is that drivers won't be looking down at their laps, but will continue to look forward. Their video says "you need your eyes in front of you - you need Navdy." Problem is, that's not how distraction works.

When we're focused on reading text, the world in the background may TECHNICALLY continue to be perfectly clear (as our eyes aren't limited in focusing like cameras are), but that doesn't mean our brain is processing it. In reality, it's just as blurred because we've stopped paying attention to everything but the text. Go ahead, look at the image above and read the message - that's all you really see.

Elsewhere on the Streetsblog Network today: Human Transit says frequent transit networks should be a key tool in improving access to healthy food. The Dallas Morning News Transportation Blog reports that the Dallas airport is now connected to rail. And Pedestrian Observations explores the relationship between between restrictive zoning and housing affordability.

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