Lawrence - Professor Greg Thomas got into his car Thursday morning, but forgot to send an important email before hitting the road. He could look down, type it out, and continue on his way, but he says that’s not a viable option.
“Three seconds traveling at 55 miles per hour is like running the length of a football with your eyes closed.” Thomas says. “In that amount of time, that’s how much ground you’ve covered in 3 seconds, so when you convert that to a street or a surface venue it can be very problematic.”
Thomas says a lot of times e-mails can’t wait, and now, they don’t have to. KU’s Center for Design and Research has teamed up with a California based Voice Assist Company to test their product. It’s a hands free device that sends and responds to text messages, and e-mails. And it doesn’t stop there; you can even post to social media websites like Facebook and twitter. This is all in an effort to curb distracted driving.
It sits in the visor of your car and all you have to do is sync your phone to the device and your texting and driving problems are solved. The nifty gadget costs $100, and the company charges about $5 per month for the service.
Eight different devices were given to the department for testing. A combination of both students and faculty get to test them out for a year. They’ll take notes and at the end of the trial, they’ll write a report to the company, listing both the pros and cons of the system.