New study from OnStar says voice-based telematics are safer

A recent study by OnStar and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) found that voice-based telematics systems are a safer form of in-vehicle navigation compared to systems that rely solely on visual aids.

The OnStar-commissioned study evaluated a cell phone-based navigation application, a personal navigation device (PND), OnStar Turn-by-Turn directions and OnStar Destination Download, as well as printed driving directions.

Researchers found that voiced-based OnStar Turn-by-Turn directions allowed drivers to keep their eyes on the road longer, required the shortest amount of time to enter a destination and resulted in better overall vehicle handling.

The study evaluated 24 participants, aged 25 to 55, as they used the five different navigation options while driving. Inside the vehicle, audio and video footage of the drivers was captured, as well as the vehicle’s key performance data.

Researchers examined video of the driver’s face, forward view and movements for analysis of eye glances and other motions.

Research showed that the two OnStar systems required significantly less mental effort than the personal navigation device and cell phone application. When asked about their preferences, 86.5 percent of participants liked “simple, quick instructions,” and 80.8 percent indicated that they wanted the “least-complicated option.”

The study also showed that drivers value visual information in addition to voice control, which is available with OnStar Destination Download. When participants were asked about their navigation preference, Destination Download received the largest percentage of being “Liked the Most.”

Additionally, all systems except OnStar Turn-by-Turn navigation required more than 20 seconds of total glance duration while entering a destination.

Source: General Motors.

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