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How Talking Can Reduce Distracted Driving

Let your vehicle do the talking


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Distracted driving doesn’t get the attention that it requires as there is greater interest in things like automated driving (which, of course, can mitigate the issues related to driver distraction—and possibly eliminate them under certain conditions). However, according to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017 nine percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S. were “reported as”* distraction-affected crashes, which resulted in 3,166 people being killed.

Continental is working on technology that will help reduce driver distraction: an adaptive voice-activated digital companion that the driver interfaces with simply by talking.

Technically this is known as a “natural language” interface in that the driver can make requests in ordinary speech not a set of codified commands.

Conti natural language system

Conti system allows the driver to talk to the “digital companion” and to have a verbal response to statements and requests. This means that attention can be kept on the task of driving, which helps minimize accidents due to distracted driving. (Image: Continental)


According to Continental, this system, still under development, is not only easy to use, but it allows the driver to keep eyes on the road, which should mitigate instances of distractions, thereby reducing the risk of accidents.


*Reporting of distracted driving isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. Not only is it thought that involved drivers might under-report distracted behavior, but various police reporting protocols make determinations difficult.