Federal Distracted Driver Guidelines for Auto Manufacturers Set the Stage for Regulation of Mobile Devices and Tablets in Cars

April 24, 2013

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has released Phase 1 of its Driver Distraction Guidelines, which apply to the visual-manual interfaces of Original Equipment (i.e., auto manufacturer) electronic devices installed in vehicles.  These Guidelines are likely to set a precedent for DOT’s Phase 2 guidelines, which will apply to "portable or aftermarket devices," including mobile devices and tablets brought into vehicles by consumers.  DOT has specifically identified as an issue for its Phase 2 Guidelines, "how to encourage [consumer] use of the in-vehicle human machine interface" (i.e., the vehicle’s communication system) rather than the interface on a mobile device or tablet used in a vehicle.  Because the vehicle interface should be designed to restrict or "lock out" certain device functions, DOT views the vehicle interface as superior to the interface on a mobile device or tablet, from a public safety and distracted driving perspective.  The Guidelines contain proposals related to Phase 2 that raise public safety and competitive concerns that may be of interest to wireless carriers and device manufacturers.  DOT intends to publish its Phase 2 Guidelines "as soon as feasible."

Read Time: 1 min
Jump to top of page

Necessary Cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytical Cookies

Analytical cookies help us improve our website by collecting and reporting information on its usage. We access and process information from these cookies at an aggregate level.