Microsoft and Ford are about to announce a new software suite for cars — Sync, which will offer navigation, as well as the ability to talk hands-free on your cell phone, check your email, and download music. Get ready for a spike in traffic accidents.
Drivers already do too much multitasking, which makes roads far too dangerous. Studies have shown that talking on cell phones — even hands-free — leads to an increase in accidents. Checking your email and downloading music while behind the wheel will only make things worse.
People can’t seem to accept the fact that cars are multi-ton, dangerous machines. Drivers do more than just talk on the phone while driving. Everyone seems to be eating meals while driving as well. The worst are those who apply makeup while they drive, tilting the rear-view mirror so it can be used as a makeup mirror. The road — who needs to watch it? Everyone else will just have to get out of the way.
Reading and responding to email will only make things worse. And given that Sync is based on Windows, don’t be surprised when Web browsing comes to your car, as well as Office applications. Coming to an intersection near you: Drivers running spreadsheets while they’re running red lights.
Sync will initially be available in two Ford models, the Focus and Five Hundred, and will be available across the entire Ford line in 2008.
On Ford’s part, this may be an attempt to salvage a damaged and dying brand. But the company would be better off spending its time on real engineering and building better cars that people want to buy, instead of touting the dangerous Sync. That might help save the company…and save a few lives as well.