Tjark Kreuzinger, Senior Manager Toyota Motor Europe R&D Safety Research & Technical Affairs says: “Safety functions can help, but equally important is that using any onboard function must not distract the driver. As part of the car designing process, we always pay a lot of attention to avoid elements that can be distractive. If operation takes too much of the driver’s attention, we don’t include that function in the touch screen menu.
“This is why we choose to use hardware switches for safety critical functions rather than touch screen. You need to look where your finger is pointing when using a touch screen, whereas, when pushing a button, you have control without looking at what you are doing. We don’t allow long text, such as title of a song, to roll on the screen either.
“Our aim is zero accidents and safer mobility. So, Toyota takes part in initiatives to develop car functions that countermeasure distracted driving.
“For example, we are involved in several research activities to better understand how distraction manifests. To develop car functions that support distracted driver, we first need to detect and measure how distracted the driver is. This is quite a challenge. We also support external organisations develop protocols for assessing and rating distracted driving assist functions of new cars.''