Let’s face it — when we’re out on the road, we have to divide our attention to do many different things. We’re watching the cars ahead of us, planning backup routes to dodge traffic, singing along to the radio or our integrated iPods, keeping an eye on kids in the backseat and responding to phone calls. In response to the multifaceted lives we all live these days, many automakers have installed voice-recognition systems into their models to keep your eyes on the road. But a new study shows that those systems can harm more than they help. That is, with one notable exception: Toyota’s Entune system.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety tested the voice-recognition systems from six different automakers to determine which, if any, cause “inattention blindness” in drivers. The tests were performed by drivers using voice commands to operate the radio and CD player and make phone calls. The systems evaluated included Chevrolet’s MyLink, Hyundai’s Blue Link, Chrysler’s Uconnect, Ford’s MySync, Mercedes-Benz’s Comand and Toyota’s Entune. Each system was scored on a scale of one to five: the lower the number, the lower the distraction.
The results were revealing. Most systems received scores of 2.2 or higher, but one automaker stood out above the rest. The only automaker to earn a grade of less than 2 was the best-scoring Toyota, coasting by with an intuitive 1.7. That’s because the Entune system easily recognized most driver commands on the first try, and was flexible enough to accept variations of key phrases. Other systems failed to respond or understand rephrases. According to the AAA foundation, unresponsive recognition systems cause aggravation in the driver and can lead to tunnel vision as he or she focuses on the infotainment system instead of the road ahead.
Toyota’s responsive Entune system is just one more example of Toyota’s commitment to driver safety and eye for innovative technology. Why not give the voice-recognition system a test of your own? Visit our Waterville Toyota dealership today and go for a drive in a brand-new Toyota!