Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

30.4.14

Using a phone while driving 'safer' - motoring body. (In fact, why not upload a few photos to Facebook along the way?)

Welcome to the future of driving with the RACV Connected Vehicle app began the mailout, predictably beginning with a cliché. Welcome to the future of ... fishing? abseiling? home brewing? race walking?

The app, the mailout explained, made your driving experience safer, more convenient and enjoyable. (My emphasis.)

How can using a phone while you are driving be safer? The mailout did not specify.

The app, it went on, provides you with personalised access to the information you need to enhance your total driving experience.

Notice in that line at least five words marketers drop into their sentences - in any order - to sell you something completely useless.

The app's Eco Drive function lets you get rated on your driving behaviour and compare your performance with other members; while its My Trips feature lets you geo-tag your photos and upload (them) to Facebook. Look out, here comes a hairpin bend! Tag it! Upload it!

You can check the weather (if it is not obvious through the windscreen), get a record of kilometres travelled per trip (for cars without a trip meter - pre 1970?) or - via an in-vehicle Bluetooth device - monitor your driving behaviour ... to improve fuel efficiency and reduce wear and tear on the vehicle.

But is using a device while driving even legal? From RACV's website, from its corporate social responsibility statement:

Compliance: RACV is conscious of its obligations to comply with all relevant legislation affecting its operations.

Selling an app to be used specifically while driving means RACV might be temporarily unconscious.

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