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Ford Cars Twitter Tweets Apps Technology Focus Edge

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Ford Motor creates new computer technology for vehicle drivers' Twitter feeds and tweets, announced at the Computer Electronics Show, while AAA argues Distracted Driving. Fear seems to surrounds the idea of verbal transmission, apparently more possibly distracting than driver-passenger conversation.
The Ford Motor Company announcement has been made at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, subsequent Ford interview provided to CNN. Ford's future car technology, allowing future drivers to verbally send or post tweets on Twitter while physically driving, Ford says is coming within a year to 18 months.
Ford justifies its new on-dash technology, claiming drivers already read Twitter feeds and send text messages while they're driving anyway, meaning the Ford mobile computer techonology is just rep making Twitter tweets and texting safer for drivers. With texting illegal or limited in many states, of course this claim is sure to draw the ire of politicians and car insurance companies. And it's sure to draw the attention of police law enforcement, currently drawing revenue from ticketing and violations issues, with texting now considered distracted driving or illegal in certain U.S. states.
CNN's Ford interview with Doug VanDagens, regarding the Consumer Electronics Show news, includes the Ford rep statement: "We take what people on the phone, they fumble with mp3 players, they look at maps. We [Ford] take these activities and make them safer," says VanDagens.
CNN says safety groups have criticized car companies and auto makers: of course, as technology advances, auto makers have recently upped the ante, providing a plethora of technology and touch-screen devices in U.S. cars and vehicles.
AAA claims, through rep Christie Hype of its 'motor safety group', that the U.S. is in a Distracted Driving crisis. That's right a crisis. And that seems serious. Until this AAA announcement, many U.S. drivers might not have even been aware that there exists a Distracted Driving crisis in the U.S. Apparently now this Distracted Driving issue is an issue on par with the budget.
"The more things that are going on in a vehicle, the more things can distract a driver," AAA's Hype told CNN, regarding Ford's Consumer Electronics Show news.
Here's the wack part: AAA's Hype claims that "More study of the tweeting by voice while driving would need to take place to make an absolute determination as to what effect Ford's announcement will have on distracted driving." Of course we can all guess which company AAA is insinuating should foot the bill for that proposed "study". But on the consumer level, the better question is the level of involvement that the auto insurance industry should really be having in determining technology types installed in drivers' vehicles.
While we're at it, perhaps we should also ban the ability of drivers speaking to passengers while in the vehicle, or driving, as that could most certainly be distracting. Some passengers are obviously more distracting than others, so perhaps a pre-screening process shold be required. And perhaps auto makers should also strip cars and ban use of radios, or use of mp3 technology, since music might also be distracting.
Ford seems to be trying to keep it safe, or ruffle as few feathers as possible within the auto insurance industry, stating the new auto technology won't let drivers surf the internet visually while driving. Drivers will be able to use a Wi-Fi hot spot in Ford's new cars, to browse online, only while vehicles or cars are actually parked. Ford features will include an RSS feed aggregator, future text-to-voice reader, and phone connectivity with phone-book contact downloads and birthday reminders. Hmmm....sounds a lot like currently using a smartphone, internet tablet or mobile computer all by its lonesome.
The technology's coming to Ford Edge and Focus model cars first, later in 2010, with other Ford models slated for later update (or obviously no update at all, if the technology doesn't catch on as expected or forecast). Ford Edge and Focus models will have a new in-dash media center, featuring an 8-inch screen at dash center and a media hookup located under armrest. No word from Ford about potential price increases to the Ford Edge and Focus models when that technology goes into effect.
Rather than downloading Twitter feeds through the car, Ford plans to team up with mobile cell phones to pull Twitter feeds data from a number of apps from companies. The Ford Twitter-read feature is planned to work through a Twitter mobile cell app: Open Beak. Ford is also announcing partnerships with online sites Pandora and Stitcher, both of which provide apps. The Pandora-music mobile cell phone app streams music, while Stitcher is a mobile app for online news feed retrieval.

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