Thursday September 4 2014

You should steer clear of ICE when driving

In car entertainment includes radio, CD, DVD, mp3, among other facilities. Granted, like its name suggests, it is supposed to entertain occupants especially when relaxing or on a long journey. That said, this entertainment can be a huge distraction to the driver.

Mustafa: In car entertainment or call it ICE. Is it necessary? I think there was a company called ICE on Kampala Road.

Jude: Yes, but they shifted to another place and perhaps later closed. I have not heard about or seen the shop again.

Mustafa: These days, most cars come with in-built car entertainment systems on the dashboards. Large screens in the middle of the dashboards most of them are a functional area but again you can use them to play music videos. But in my opinion, you cannot do two things at ago. You cannot drive and watch the TV or always just glancing there. Are these gadgets for real or they are gimmicks?

Paul: Mustafa, your concern is well placed because it is done either by mistake or without fully thinking through it. Someone installs a video player on their centre console. But giving people the benefit of doubt, sometimes people want to relax. Car manufacturers who design in car entertainment systems with video players deliberately add a device that blocks you from viewing videos while driving. Manufactures like Mercedes Benz send you a message: “That for your own safety, we shall blank the screen.” Ideally, those screens should be behind. So the passengers’ screens on the headrests will continue working. Most of the cars we see from Japan with big ICE systems they are actually meat for navigation.

Jude: There are some big ones that are just adjusted or fixed on the dashboard but weren’t inbuilt.

Mustafa: You mentioned blanking. What happens is that when you engage drive (D in automatic transmission cars), the screen turns into a functional space. It has a touch screen for buttons like for the AC, the radio etc.

Jude: In the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee, there is a touch screen with so many functions.

Mustafa: In much new cars, the screen has fancy technology called twin view. The same screen for the passenger will be able to show them the video while the driver views something else. Like when we were young there were things you would see from different angles yet it was the same thing. I have seen them on sale in town. It is the same technology with cars. But in the general scheme of things, car manufacturers have discovered that these things are hazardous.

Jude: They are ideally not meant for the driver but the co-driver and other passengers at the rear. When you are driving, definitely, what is on the screen will distract you. But with the navigation screen used these days in modern cars comes with nice functions such as aiding you in reverse parking and lots of other things on the menu.
Mustafa: Yes, but the biggest concern is when I am driving, can I watch Nicki Minaj?

Jude: And her Anaconda video, twerking like a problem.

Mustafa: (Laughs). Many people who retro fit their cars have huge screens that are tuned for them to watch videos regardless of what you are doing. So whether you are driving ahead or reversing, the screen is just pumping out Nicki Minaj. Some new cars, it is automatic that when you engage reverse, the rear camera will indicate images on your screen. Some are designed like that and when you switch to drive, you cannot play a video. They will just show you navigation information.

Jude: In a nutshell, they are helpful.

Paul: If used properly, they are helpful.