Are high-tech dashboard gadgets safe?

February 15, 2010 3:00:08 PM PST
Innovative technology is an important part of the Chicago auto show. This year, more high-tech gadgets are ending up on the dashboard. It may be convenient but how safe is it?When it comes to high technology, drivers will be amazed at what's now available in your car.

At Chrysler, Uconnect is an integrated, multi-media system that provides navigation, cell phone, music, TV and Internet. Users can access these systems by touch screen, voice command or a button on the back of the steering wheel.

For entertainment, there's Flo TV. Unlike satellite TV, you won't lose a picture driving under a bridge. Uconnect also lets you watch different programs on different screens at the same time. For safety, though, the front screen will only show the navigation system when the vehicle is moving.

"I think it's pretty neat, I really do, might be too much almost," said Scott Slomka, auto show visitor.

"I love it. It's great, it's magnificent," said Sabrina Hawthorne, auto show visitor.

At Ford, Sync is an in-car connectivity system that routes several sources of information to the navigation screen, from phone calls to texts to emails.

"It brings up the closest and cheapest gas prices in your area. Also too it brings up all sports information, movie listings. It actually has Doppler radar for weather," said Matt Dillon, Internet manager, Joe Rizza Ford.

All this technology certainly adds convenience to your drive, but at what point does it become too much?

"If you're on a cell phone, it's already been proven your chances are 400 percent greater to be involved in some type of a crash. So now, if you put all those other elements involved in it as well, the probability is there that you'll be involved in some type of a crash," said Trooper Clare Pfotenhauer, Illinois State Police.

Only time will tell how this high technology affects our driving, but for now it's a hit at the auto show.