Electric Cars As the Ultimate Driving Distraction

Auto Channel executive VP Marc J. Rauch sees all the talk about electric cars as distracting to the national discourse as in-car information systems.

Published: 12-Jan-2010

This past week Ford Motor Company's president and CEO Alan Mulally gave the opening keynote speech at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The purpose of the presentation was to unveil an entire suite of new SYNC signature brand in-car innovations.

While the technology is undeniably exciting and amazing, it was darkly ironic given the amount of commotion that is currently going on around the country to try and eliminate driving distractions. If you think that the use of cell phones and texting has already created a safety problem, then you’re going to be shocked by what Ford now has in mind. Mr. Mulally actually seemed to champion and encourage the use of texting while driving when he rather gleefully announced that texting is now the favored form of communication for every age group, within his description of Fords success in putting more than a million SYNC-equipped cars on American roads in 2009.

Incidentally, Ford wasn’t alone in exhibiting new dashboard distractions at CES; Kia showcased an elaborate Microsoft in-car multimedia system called UYO (which somehow stands for Your Voice), along with about 300 other in-vehicle exhibitors touting their own innovative products.


TREV two-place electric car

Student-built vehicle can do 0-60 in 10 seconds with top speed of 75 mph. Photo courtesy of University of South Australia.

Johnson Controls RE3 electric concept car interior.

RE3 electric concept car is designed to demonstrate use of different materials and flexible, novel ways of using space.

Magna International chief vehicle engineer Dick DeVogelaere with Project M electric car. Photo credit: EV World.Com.

Ford plans to make only 10,000 of the electric vehicles a year at first - very few by Detroit standards - to test the market cautiously. GM and Toyota are following a similar cautious approach.


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