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Study: Speech-to-text Technology Distracts Motorists While Driving

In order to avoid road accidents, for a long time drivers have been advised not to text anyone while driving. But as people have found not interested to restrain themselves from texting while driving, so to keep their eyes focused on road, hands-free texting using voice-operated technology have been legalized. Recently, a study has found that speech-to-text technologies are more distracting than talking to other passengers in the car.


Speech-to-text While Driving

An earlier study suggested that drivers who use speech-to-text application to compose their text messages are just as distracted as drivers who choose to manually text while driving. And now AAA Foundation, the US road safety group is saying that speech-to-text technologies are more distracting than talking to other passengers in the car.

The AAA conducted three experiments. All experimental tasks included listening to a radio; listening to an audio book; speaking with a passenger; using a hand-held mobile phone; using a speech-to-text interface; and a combination of memory and true/false maths problems.

In the laboratory baseline, the research found that compared to a single-task reaction time of about 460 milliseconds, speech-to-text operation had an impact similar to using a hand-held mobile, slowing participants’ reaction times to around 570 ms. When the experiment was done using a driving simulator, speech-to-text operation was worse than using a hand-held mobile phone – drivers’ mean braking reaction time while using the mobile was around 950 ms, while a driver using a speech-to-text interface had a mean reaction time of about 1050 ms.

After doing the experiments AAA Foundation noted, ” … use of speech-to-text communications presented the highest level of cognitive distraction of all the tasks we analysed.”

Source: The Register

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