London, Jan 10 (ANI): In a move that will revolutionise motoring, a new generation of computerised dashboard devices that will bring Internet access to the driver's seat are about to be unveiled.
The Wi-Fi-enabled gadgets, which are being developed by technology companies such as Intel and Google in conjunction with car manufacturers, will allow drivers to compose voice-activated e-mails on the move, call up restaurant reviews as they reach their destination and use 3D maps to navigate while their passengers watch movies.
The devices will go on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.
However, motoring organisations have warned the so-called "infotainment" systems will distract drivers and increase the risk of accidents.
Duncan Vernon, from the road safety team at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, acknowledged that sat-nav systems could help motorists, but warned that too much gadgetry was dangerous.
"All drivers have to navigate when they are behind the wheel, and technology such as sat-navs can help drivers do this when used appropriately," the Scotsman quoted Vernon as saying.
"But there is a serious potential for distraction, and related crashes, resulting from visual display entertainment systems unrelated to and unnecessary for driving. Most of us would be shocked if we saw a driver reading an encyclopaedia or texting behind the wheel, and rightly so. When behind the wheel, a driver's primary task is to drive," Vernon added.
Edmund King, AA president, said: "We must accept that technology is evolving and will not go away. But in general terms we think that the internet should be reserved for the cyber-highway rather than cause distractions for drivers on the real highway."
Neil Greig, director of policy and research for the Institute of Advanced Motoring, said: "The impact of these devices on driving standards has not been sufficiently examined. Therefore it must be a basic requirement that the new interactive technology only works when cars are stationary." (ANI)