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Integrate iPod with Car or Risk Death 200

Posted by Hemos
from the give-me-music-or-give-me-traffic-fatality dept.
An anonymous reader writes "CNET has talked to Apple about its big plans for the car. Apple say they're keen to save the lives of anyone who risks death by "reaching into the footwell of his car to retrieve an iPod nano at around 90mph" and anyone who "considered skipping tracks on his iPod more important than the lives of multiple humans". Apple are also said to be "delighted by the efforts of Mac users who retrofit the Mac Mini into cars" and are "keeping an eye on what these hackers are up to with their Macs." The writer also pitched his own design ideas to Apple's director of global product marketing, Bob Borchers: "We suggested to Borchers that Apple should allow drivers to use their car steering wheel as a giant Clickwheel interface, so that you can change tracks by changing lanes. Borchers foresaw certain safety problems with such a device and rejected the concept.""
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Integrate iPod with Car or Risk Death

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  • by plover (150551) * on Monday July 17, 2006 @11:21AM (#15731578) Homepage Journal
    a driver who nearly killed us recently by reaching into the footwell of his car to retrieve an iPod nano at around 90mph.

    You can kill someone by just focusing on the stereo display instead of the road, too. This guy was just more Darwinian than most.

    Perhaps car stereos need to be rubber-padded to accomodate the lowest common denominator, like so many other consumer products. Something to prevent you from changing discs, tracks or stations unless the transmission is in park.

    • If an iPod is on the counsol next to you, you can change tracks very quickly with one hand and keeping your eyes on the road. As evidenced by the horrible traffic fatality rates in the developed world, there are many things that contribute to drivers distraction and impairment. If someone is dumb enough to keep his iPod out of sight and try to change tracks, he would probably do something just as dumb without an iPod.


      Hey, at least he wasn't placing a needle on a 45 while driving!

      • qoute "Hey, at least he wasn't placing a needle on a 45 while driving!"

        Yeah, singles are so out. Custom 33 1/3 LP all the way.
        Didn't a luxury car maker feature a turntable in one of their commercials?
        • I don't have any links, but a few manufacturers attempted to heed the calls of people who wanted to play their LPs on the road. None were sucesseful for a few reasons. Suspension tech was pretty bad and the roads were worse. There was no way to have a record play continuously over anything but perfect driving conditions. Applying more force on the arm broke needls over the bumps and occationally damaged the vinyl.
      • by plover (150551) * on Monday July 17, 2006 @12:34PM (#15732136) Homepage Journal
        The placement of the controls isn't the problem. The visibility of the controls isn't the problem. The driver who thinks he can drive the radio and the car at the same time is the problem.

        Driver distractions in general are the problem. "Eyeballs off the road" or "fishing around in the footwell for my stray iPod" are extreme (and extremely stupid) cases. But just the thought process of "hmm...which CD has my Led Zeppelin and which CD has my Devo?" is enough distraction to take my focus off the road.

        Another example is thinking I'm "safer" with my handsfree car phone than I am fumbling about with a handheld. Sure, that's a bit safer than not fumbling with it, but I guarantee that if you're on a hands-free phone call and get into a heated argument with your spouse (or any other emotionally upsetting phone call) that your concentration isn't going to remain fully on the road.

        If car stereos were locked down while the cars are in motion, the temptation to change tracks would be gone, and so would the distraction.

        • I rarely talk on the phone while driving. I only do so if the call can't wait and there is little to no traffic. Even then I find the extra gadget distracting. My MP3 player is conveniently located within a finger's reach when I have my hand on the gearshift, so as long as I'm in 1st, 3rd, or 5th gear I barely have to glance at it to change volume or tracks. Talking on a cell phone with a manual transmission is a bit tougher, which is partly why I don't like talking on it while driving. Headsets aren't a pr

          • Well, my phone really is 99.5% hands free -- it's a bluetooth kit hooked into the stereo. I press a single button on the dash to answer it. Even with all that, I find the distraction of an ordinary conversation draws some focus from the primary job of driving the vehicle.

            It's a bit worse than talking to an adult passenger, because a passenger is usually aware of the road conditions and will shut up at the appropriate time, and will understand when your concentration needs to be fully on the road. Peopl

        • "If car stereos were locked down while the cars are in motion, the temptation to change tracks would be gone, and so would the distraction."
          The temptation remains, the ability to change tracks does not. If there was a track playing that you were tired of listening to, you would be tempted to either change track or shut the player off.

          If I am able to turn the player off, I will become frustrated and unfit to drive.
        • The placement of the controls isn't the problem. The visibility of the controls isn't the problem. The driver who thinks he can drive the radio and the car at the same time is the problem.
          Driver distractions in general are the problem.


          No, the problem is that cars are driven by human beings who are inherently fallible. This is very old, but poor technology. Even if every distraction/impediment is eliminated, more people still will die from traffic accidents than any other preventable form of death.
        • No, humans driving cars at all is the problem. 99% or more of all traffic fatalities are caused by human error. This is unacceptable. We need computer controlled cars, possibly on a rail-like system, and we need it 10 years ago. We have had the technology for at least that long. Fatalities would go down, transit time would go down, fuel usage would go down.

          Fatalities would go down because the computer won't get distracted. I am not talking about some fancy 'modern' PC running a crashable OS, I am talk
    • by truthsearch (249536) on Monday July 17, 2006 @11:38AM (#15731707) Homepage Journal
      It's beyond darwinian. He's prepared to take out smart people in other cars.
      • You assume the odds are the people he hit are smart.

        Try driving around Boston for a couple days. You could grab your nano at 90 and wipe out ten other cars and likely not hit someone who isn't also driving like an idiot!
      • It's beyond darwinian. He's prepared to take out smart people in other cars.

        Wrong. Purely Darwinian. Survival of the fittest based on prevailing environment. Environment full of idiots that shouldn't be driver. Person most able to avoid said idiots most likely to contribute to the gene pool. Of course if not for the never ending supply of idiots eventually there would be no idiots, and the ability to avoid them would no longer be a successful survival trait. In the real world you'll eventually reach an equi
    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday July 17, 2006 @11:43AM (#15731753) Journal
      Unfortunately, I don't think even a Heads Up Display (HUD) + controls integrated into the steering wheel would really solve the fundamental problem that people can't focus their eyes on two things at once.

      Most people can't even be expected to react quickly to outside events if they're talking on the phone while driving. Why would we expect anything more if they're not even focusing their eyes on the road, much less their brains.
      • Indeed... not to mention the fact that a guy taking his eyes off the road to reach down at least knows he isn't paying attention to the road, and will probably have the urge to look back up if his attention is diverted too long. A person with a HUD, on the other hand, could get lulled into a false sense that what he is doing is safe.
      • I think a HUD would be even worse. With the thing right in front of you, you're much more likely to be staring at the album art or really concentrating on changing playlists. Whenever I use my iPod in the car (fairly rarely, I tend to stick with MP3 CDs for this reason), I always change tracks/volume/playlists with the highest level of absent-mindedness possible. I almost nailed someone trying to save a message to my cell (admittedly, on an unfamiliar road at that point), and that's just hitting OK. I k
      • Most people can't even be expected to react quickly to outside events if they're talking on the phone while driving. Why would we expect anything more if they're not even focusing their eyes on the road, much less their brains.

        Have you ever seen the workload a beginner pilot takes on. He's constantly on the radio to ground, has one hand on the yoke or stick, both feet at rudder pedals and his other hand controls throttle and every other instrument that has to be regulated (mixture, prop) and to tune radios
    • (mostly off topic...)
      my last car was totalled by some jackass who went looking for his walkie talkie in the footwell... took his foot of the brake and his truck went over my bumper and through my trunk. you don't have to be moving fast to cause a problem like that. this happened at a stop light.

      annoyingly, cars *are* supposed to be rubber padded for these sorts of things, but it doesn't work when to support a trucks "rugged look" the rubber padding, (the bumper) is a foot higher than it ought to be...
    • This is a great argument for traveling with a spouse/significant other/friend. All you need to do is ask them to fix the iPod. This works well for all sorts of other mundane chores one shouldn't perform while driving.
      • Eh!??! The biggest cause of accidents is surely having a spouse/significant other with you in the car. If they're not telling you how to drive, or giving you incorrect directions, or setting the air conditioning incorrectly, they're probably berating you for some chore or other you're not doing (as if you could do it when you're trying to get from A to B).

        I now completely refuse to drive my wife anywhere. If she wants to drive, she can do it from the driver's seat.

    • You can kill someone by just focusing on the stereo display instead of the road, too. This guy was just more Darwinian than most

      Have you ever actually -used- an iPod while driving?

      Most car stereos have a UI that is, at least to some extent, designed for the environment it resides in. This is far from the case with the iPod, Zen Micro, or just about any other portable media player I've touched.

      I try not to change playlists or albums while I'm driving with my iPod. That stupid thing has caused me to drive out
  • Well... (Score:3, Funny)

    by dubmun (891874) * on Monday July 17, 2006 @11:22AM (#15731579) Homepage Journal
    I've never almost died by trying to use my RF intefaced iPod on the freeway. Nope. Never.
  • by eighty4 (987543) on Monday July 17, 2006 @11:23AM (#15731587) Homepage
    We suggested to Borchers that Apple should allow drivers to use their car steering wheel as a giant Clickwheel interface, so that you can change tracks by changing lanes. Borchers foresaw certain safety problems with such a device and rejected the concept.""

    Jesus, is it April already?
    • Yeah, that literally made me fall out of my chair laughing.

      Anything but a quick rejection from Borchers on that one would have probably resulted in a decrease in Apple's stock value if the word got out. In fact, that was a major test for Apple, to see if any demise they might meet would come as a result of them committing suicide - something that I could see happening with M$ if they continue to ride on that ill-fated ship that Ballmer is steering over there.
    • Yes. This is a stupid idea. Clearly, the steering wheel should be disconnected from the steering components while a song is being selected with it...

      Rich
  • by LoudMusic (199347) on Monday July 17, 2006 @11:27AM (#15731608)
    I know a lot of manufacturers have started including iPod connections in the glovebox with stereo's equipped with direct control of the gadget, but has anyone made a headunit with a cassette-like bay for the iPod? It would be like, retro cool. I guess the problem comes with the different form factors of all the different iPods, but I suppose they could include various shims.
    • From a security standpoint, I'd prefer to have my ipod stashed away in the dash.

      The benefit of the "established" car audio manufacturers making ipod interfaces for their products is that when I jump out of the car to buy petrol/food/whatever, the local thugs walking past the car don't see the ipod and decide to "liberate" it.

      Woe betide anyone who buys the inevitable "iCar" player (yes, you know it's coming one day). It'll be shiny white plastic, it'll stand out like a sore thumb, and you might as well get a
    • I know a lot of manufacturers have started including iPod connections in the glovebox with stereo's equipped with direct control of the gadget, but has anyone made a headunit with a cassette-like bay for the iPod? It would be like, retro cool. I guess the problem comes with the different form factors of all the different iPods, but I suppose they could include various shims.

      It's not just the iPod, it's the different form factors of cassette players. Side loading vs. front-loading, and so on. Best to just

    • I haven't heard of that, but I have seen that one VW Golf with the Mac Mini, which has a normal iPod dock molded into the center console. That seems to work really well.
    • I know a lot of manufacturers have started including iPod connections in the glovebox with stereo's equipped with direct control of the gadget, but has anyone made a headunit with a cassette-like bay for the iPod? It would be like, retro cool. I guess the problem comes with the different form factors of all the different iPods, but I suppose they could include various shims

      No, but you can buy an aftermarket CD player/head unit that has an iPod interface & cable. Very slick. $200.
      http://www.crutchfield.c [crutchfield.com]
  • by nosredna (672587) on Monday July 17, 2006 @11:31AM (#15731643)
    anyone who "considered skipping tracks on his iPod more important than the lives of multiple humans".


    Obviously they've never had somebody 'borrow' their music player of choice and load it down with eight hours of 'Therapeutic Gong'.
  • Why would an iPod be in the footwell? I just put it in the change holder area and it's always at arm's length and has never fallen loose.
    • Re:Footwell? (Score:2, Interesting)

      I remember back when I'd leav my discman on the passenger seat (as it was too big for the cup holder). That thing was always falling into the footwell on sharp turns and such. But I never-ever-ever attempted to reach down and pick it up while driving: that would be insane (and possibly fatal).

      It could have simply been the guy wasn't thinking clearly that one time. It's happened to me dozens of times where I won't be thinking and will do something incredibly stupid that I'd never do under normal circumsta
      • Gee, I simply put my discman in a travel pouch and hung it on the passenger side of the transmission tunnel. Left the opening of the travel pouch unzipped and the controls were always accessible. That was back when I owned a 1986 Ford Crown Victoria LTD (a big beast of a vehicle).

        Nowadays I simply have an MP3 CD player with 8 or 9 MP3 CDs stored on the dash visor. (My lifestyle doesn't mesh well with an iPod. I'm either listening to music in my home office with the laptop or in my car. A network shar
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, 2006 @11:37AM (#15731697)
    Turn the steering wheel, and your get the scroll function. Horn selects.
  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Monday July 17, 2006 @11:38AM (#15731708) Homepage Journal
    ...Apple should allow drivers to use their car steering wheel as a giant Clickwheel interface, so that you can change tracks by changing lanes.

    And we could tie the accelerator to Volume control, and the brake could be the Pause button. Oh, and we could have the engine make funny clicking noises to provide sensory feedback and we would be all set.

    We'd have to ban Brittany Spears though, because mayhem would quite likely ensue as thousands of drivers struggled to hit pause, turn down the volume and change tracks simultaneously.

    We could call it the iPod MEGA. An iPod you can drive around in.

  • by Shivetya (243324) on Monday July 17, 2006 @11:38AM (#15731714) Homepage Journal
    Nissan has a unit which connects through my satellite wiring, my car was prewired, that will allow me to control my iPod from the built-in stereo. This will also allow me to control the iPod via the steering wheel controls.

    I honestly am not sure whats worse, being able to use it this way with all the distractions it may cause, or not having the option available. I will figure that out for myself.

    Still it makes one wonder, should functions which inherently distract you from driving be prevented by the hardware? I know some navigation functions are disabled if the vehicle is moving, why not other functions?

    I can change radio stations without visual queues but selecting playlists isn't going to be as easy. Sometimes I think answering your cellphone should shut your car off.
    • Sometimes I think answering your cellphone should shut your car off.

      I think I'd rather see a mobile refuse answer when the car is in motion unless you're in headset mode. Visions of "hello?" *stall* *crunch* fly through my head, otherwise.

      And yes, I know there are people who can't talk and drive, and that the headset solution wouldn't help them. Unfortunately, these people also tend to be the type who can't drive while talking to a passenger, listening to the radio, or breathing.

    • * Winners compare their achievments to their goals, losers compare theirs to that of others. * ARMONK, NY - Aug. 8,

      So you're saying that if I don't compare myself to others I can be a winner which means I'll be better than others.

      What if my goal is to win the Olympics which is by defintion a comparison to others?

      My head asplode.
  • by b1t r0t (216468) on Monday July 17, 2006 @11:42AM (#15731737)

    ...I just grab the wire that's attached to it and start pulling. I use a lighter plug charger which has an audio-out jack on the charger plug, and the cassette adapter plugs into that. Ergonomically, it's like using a wired remote, only the music is in the "remote" itself. It cost a bit more for this than the other cheapie brands that don't have an audio jack, but I had already been using an MP3 CD player for a few years and was never happy with two wires to the player constantly getting tangled.

    And why has it taken car stereo manufacturers so long to put input jacks on the damn things anyhow? Mine is seven years old, and I'm not too aware of what the norm is now. For all I know, they still aren't including input jacks. Cassette adapters are an ugly workaround that shouldn't be necessary, and FM transmitters are usually too weak or imprecise.

    • Change cars - Mitsubishi's Diamante has input jacks on their factory stereo, and has had them for years.
    • > When my nano falls ... I just grab the wire that's attached to it and start pulling

      Why don't you just buy yourself some Viagra?
    • There are several car stereos that offer this as an option now.

      My Jensen MP6211 stereo [tinyurl.com] is one of them and it offers this via an add-on adapter called the jport. The manual says it will control all of the iPods to date.

      It doesn't, however, work with the shuffle option on the iPods. I don't have an iPod, so I can't comment on how well it works with them.

      It'll also control a Jensen CD changer and has a set of RCA inputs for playing anything else via the stereo's AUX mode.

      They offer a steering wheel remote as a
    • And why has it taken car stereo manufacturers so long to put input jacks on the damn things anyhow?

      Check to see if your headunit will control a cd changer. Go look for something called an 'auxilliary input adapter'. It mimicks a cd changer and gives you a direct connection into your stereo. I use one on my toyota for my portable XM radio receiver. Works like a champ. When my wife's with me we simply unplug the XM and plug in her iPod. Crystal clear and waaaay better than the tape adapter. Be aware th
  • by tgd (2822) on Monday July 17, 2006 @11:42AM (#15731744)
    Mopar (Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/etc) has a system that gives iPod control to most of their vehicle's radios over the last five or so years.

    The problem is, it doesn't work. They claim it works with all Dock iPods, and explicitly list all of them, but it just plain doesn't work with any 3G iPods. The radio comes up and says to update the firmware on the iPod. Of course 3G iPods haven't gotten any updates in a LONG time.

    My girlfriends Mini (4G?) works with it... sort of. Only half the albums, artists or playlists show up... even if those songs play just fine in a playlist that references them.

    It remains to be seen if later iPods actually work as advertised. The problem is, these products are not well supported (or supported at all). An iPod cable is a different beast from most car accessories or features. A quick search through various car support forums makes it sound like the problem is pretty common -- these non-Apple integrations sometimes work great, sometimes work some, and sometimes just don't work.

    Caveat Emptor.
  • I have a solution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by davidwr (791652) on Monday July 17, 2006 @12:00PM (#15731866) Homepage Journal
    Ban ipods, radios, phones, noisy kids, and all other distractions from automobiles.

    There, we can all drive safer now.

    Rule #1 of iPod safety: People reaching for their iPods don't cause car accidents. Idiots reaching for their iPods do.
    Corrollary to rule #1: Anyone causing an accident while reaching for his iPod is an idiot.
    • Ban ipods, radios, phones, noisy kids, and all other distractions from automobiles.

      You can have my Shaker 1000 6-CD in-dash changer when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

      Agreed on the kids, though. Can we ban from all public spaces?

      There, we can all drive safer now.

      Well, you'd have to ban all the drivers as well to achieve that.

      Rule #1 of iPod safety: People reaching for their iPods don't cause car accidents. Idiots reaching for their iPods do.

      Is that like "Bullets don't kill people, bulle

      • Is that like "Bullets don't kill people, bullets travelling 1200 m/s kill people?"
        No, it's closer to "Guns don't kill people, idiots with guns kill people".

        Of course, I can't make this comment without the appropriate Eddie Izzard response to the "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" bumper-stickers: "well, maybe that's true, but I think the gun helps."
    • It's worse than that - our minds are built to automate things as much as possible, which is commanly called "skill". When you were learing to drive it was very difficult as you had to think about everything you needed to do. Just think of changing gears: push the clutch in, change gears, take your foot off the accelerator, let the clutch out, keep you car in the lane, watch that idiot using his ipod in the car next to you, think about where you need to be next, etc

      The fact out brains work this way is g
  • idiots (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrSquirrel (976630) on Monday July 17, 2006 @12:10PM (#15731955)
    I've been driving with a Creative Nomad (well, now it's a Zen Sleek) since I started driving over 5 years ago... it's never caused me to be in an accident. It's called common sense -- use it! "Oh, I want to find that one album by so-and-so and play it right now teheheheh" Well, have your passenger do it / pull over into a parking spot or onto the shoulder / hit the "next track" button until you hear it (Creative has a menu action when a song is playing called "play album"... I'm guessing there's an iPod equivalent) / decide that not getting in an accident is a little more important than listening to some certain song. Personally, I use my sense of touch instead of sight when I'm using my Creative while driving -- I think it's a very simple thing to do, iPods don't need to scan your retinas in order to change the song or up the volume... so in theory, iPod users should be able to do the same (in fact, I know they can because I've seen friends do it).

    First rule of driving -- don't be an idiot!
  • BMW/Mini (Score:5, Informative)

    by dr00g911 (531736) on Monday July 17, 2006 @12:19PM (#15732022)
    Most of the cars coming out of BMW plants over the last several years have had supposed iPod "integration" -- including my Mini.

    For a collaboration between two companies known for their design elegance, the BMW iPod dock is an abomination.

    Basically, it fools your car into thinking that the iPod is a 6-disc CD changer, and yes, the stereo controls on the steering wheel do control it. Sort of.

    You have to create 6 playlists called BMW1,BMW2 or MINI1,MINI2 etc and you're basically limited to using only those playlists unless you want to go through your entire 60gb library in alphabetical order. The model I own doesn't show text on the head-unit either, although I've been told that newer ones do this.

    Top it off with the fact that the 'dock' is just a cable floating loose in the glove box allowing your 'pod to bounce around all over the place and you've got basically a hack that reduces your iPod to a stack of MP3 CDs because you can't find anything and the interface is completely crippled. Seriously, why would you create an iPod dock and then rob every trace of iPod-ness from the user experience?

    I loathed this solution so much that I went back to the dealer and had an Aux jack installed in the glove box and just ran a cable down to my cupholder through the console.

    Here's hoping that Apple comes up with a truly elegant solution.

    • Wow, that sucks. My alpine allows me to search for songs on my ipod by playlist/artist/album and then drill in from there. Plus it has 3 lines of text so searching is pretty easy. The tech is out there and not that expensive (my alpine cost ~$300), so why doesn't a company like BMW use it...
  • Terrific! (Score:5, Funny)

    by T_ConX (783573) on Monday July 17, 2006 @12:31PM (#15732119)
    Now that I don't have to worry about changing songs on my iPod, I can free up my hands to read a magazine while talking on my cellphone and eating a Cheeseburger.

    I swear! I once saw a guy do that! I wasn't driving at the time...

    Seriously, when people invent stuff like this and say it's 'Fool-Proof', they're basicly just sticking their tounges out at God, says "Lord, not even you could make a human so stupid, that they could screw this up!" God disagrees, and proves them wrong with horific, yet hillarious ease.
    • Seriously, when people invent stuff like this and say it's 'Fool-Proof', they're basicly just sticking their tounges out at God, says "Lord, not even you could make a human so stupid, that they could screw this up!" God disagrees, and proves them wrong with horific, yet hillarious ease.

      Why do I never have mod points at the right time? At least I can say "thank you." Thank you for making me laugh. I needed that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, 2006 @02:02PM (#15732243)
    I don't own a car or an ipod, do I really have to die?
  • I know when I am in a high speed chase on Santa Monica Freeway and the news helicopters are overhead, the last thing I want to be doing is fumbling for my copy of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" on my ipod!
  • by ranson (824789) on Monday July 17, 2006 @02:24PM (#15732440) Homepage Journal
    Any recent (e.g., last 4 years) factory stereo has a special port on the back for connecting a CD Changer to the unit. Some ingenious companies have figured out ways to use this port to bridge any music player into the stereo system -- essentially fooling the head unit by emulating a cd changer with an iPod or whathaveyou. These bridges generally include a true iPod cable connector which allows the iPod to be controlled directly at the head unit, so using your ipod is about as safe as changing CD tracks.

    Most also include a less-safe option of an RCA bypass jack that you can use with other players. Online car stereo places sell good quality ones for between $100 and $200 depending upon your model of car. Not bad for CD-quality sound out of your ipod, through your car, when the Griffin iTrip FM adapter costs about $95 these days.

    Read more info here:
    http://www.crutchfield.com/cgi-bin/ProdGroup.asp?g =227450&avf=Y&skipvs=T&secure=off&s=0&cc=01 [crutchfield.com]

    i have one for my new corolla... took about 10 minutes to install and works flawlessly.
  • Honestly, if you're going to be reaching around your car and trying to pull your ipod from some crevasse, you should at least slow down to a reasonable speed.
  • by mozumder (178398) on Monday July 17, 2006 @02:48PM (#15732649)
    Unfortunately, so far, the best controller for an iPod I've seen is still the iPod itself. All the iPod interfaces to car-stereo unit's I've seen use the car's head unit as the controller for the iPod, including setting up playlists and what not. This isn't practical with a 60GB iPod loaded with tens of thousands of tracks and hundreds of playlists.

    Just place the iPod near the steering wheel, use that as the controller for the tracks and playlists, and forget about all the horrible interfaces in the head-unit. It should only be connected with an Aux cable for audio. Actually, a bluetooth interface for audio transfer to the car would even be better, since there's no cable. Need apple to come up with a bluetooth equipped iPod, though.
  • I'm so sick of the distractions while driving mantra. The thing about it is that I believe everyone should do what they can to the best of their ability. The fact is if I can manage to change tracks on my portable music player, and answer cell phones while driving I should be able to. Instead of impuning me by making "potentially risky" behavior illegal, when there's nothing inherently awful about it, maybe you should impune those who get in the crashes. I'm sick of this line of crap that a cell phone m
    • Dammit - three shiny mod points, and not one of them says "-1, wrong AND conceited". The point of these laws is that you really can't do all these things and still be safe. You could be driving on a freeway in ND, which is straight for miles and miles and has not a single car on it, and you could still get into an accident - pothole you didn't see, moose hanging out in the road..... You being able to do all these things and not crash really has nothing to do with your skill, ability, or anything - but simpl
    • >> everyone should do what they can to the best of their ability

      The trouble is that most people consistently overestimate their own ability. Especially Americans, for some reason.

      > The fact is if I can manage to change tracks on my portable music player, and answer cell phones while driving I should be able to.

      Now there would be an interesting driving test.
    • You might trust yourself to be able to do so safely. You might even be right. But tell me why:

      1. I should trust you to be able to do so safely?
      2. What makes you think your skills at driving are sufficient to deal with other bozos?
      Unless you drive on the road alone, then your actions have an impact on another - the day /our/ lives aren't at risk from your actions, etc ...
  • ...if everyone drove bumper cars we wouldn't be having this discussion.
  • by 7Prime (871679) on Monday July 17, 2006 @03:53PM (#15733174) Homepage Journal

    I have a '99 Camry, which is, of course, before they started making iPod retrofits, steeringwheel controls, and all that jazz. I got a nice leather case by Vaja, with a rivet in the back, that hooks into a little belt clip. What I did is bought a second beltclip device, and mounted it on my dashboard in the center console, above the stereo. I ran a Blitzsafe connector (which delivers line level audio, as well as power) to the CD changer port on my stereo. So I basically have a quick little clip to hold my ipod (I went in and bent down the clip so I don't have to press the button to remove the iPod) on top of my dashboard, and I can bring it right up in front of me when operating it, so I can keep my eyes on the road. When I get out of the car, I can pull it clean off, in one swoop, and clip it back on my belt. So when I leave the car, it goes with me, and it's become second nature to do so.

    For safety reasons, I wait until I'm at a red light, or when there's no traffic around me to switch tracks (and no, I don't use playlists, I hate playlists). If you change albums, I usually wait until an oportune time (like a red light), and navigate to the track I want before the previous track finishes, so all I have to do is hit "menu" "center button" to play the next track I want to hear, I don't even have to look to do that! Also, I listen to a lot of prog, which has 10-20 minute tracks, so I don't switch tracks very much, if at all...

    The real killer is people who do custom mods that require that your iPod be docked into a stationary location, so you have to actually bend over and squint to operate it. I was blown away when I noticed how many people are doing this, it seems like the worst thing in the world to do. Go onto iLounge and they have a forum for car modding, and so many people have done this thing of putting a universal dock into their ash tray. I think the solution is to be able to move the iPod around at will, so you don't feel the need to bend down to operate it, or a passanger can operate it. In this way, it's probably even safer than a car stereo... and less prone to theft, as well.

  • What is this assumption that EVERYONE must have an ipod? I already have a way-cooler, smaller MP3 player with more features than any ipod (google for MPIO one).

    I tell ya, if next time I go to buy a car and it has an ipod interface (especially one that only works with ipods and not other audio players) I'll be looking for another car.

  • keen to prevent lawsuits?  Is there any warning label on the iPod not to
    use it while driving? If not, in this day and legal age they are leaving themself
    open to some very large suits.
  • I was looking around for a cable to hook to my GM vehicle's stereo (Pontiac Montana). I was surpised to find, that for the same price (around $100), there were cables that hooked iPods up to the stereo, including the GM stereo's controls and display. Nice integration. I never thought of it, but it indeed a safety factor, as well as a gee-whiz thing. (It came with an iPod holder/charger too, I think.)

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