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  • New AAA Study Finds Apple's Siri to be One of the Most Distracting Hands-Free Systems

    Both Apple and many car manufacturers have touted voice controls as being the “safe” alternative when it comes to using a phone in the car as a driver. Reasons used to back up the statement included the ability to keep eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. That being said, the technology still seems to be evolving drastically and when it came to Apple’s Siri in particular, it was distracting enough to cause two crashes in a simulator.

    A recent study from AAA, formerly known as the American Automobile Association proves that voice activated functionality is distracting because it’s prone to errors and increases cognitive load. Furthermore, Apple’s Siri ended up being one of the worst offenders in the study as well. On a scale of 1 to 4 with 1 being equal to listening to the radio and 3 being equivalent to listening to and composing text-related messaging, Siri got a score of 4.15.

    Other systems that were used in the study scored far better ranging from Toyota’s Entune system with a score of 1.7 (although it has very limited functionality), Hyundai’s BlueLink receiving a score of 2.2, Chrysler’s Uconnect scoring a 2.7, MyFord Touch scoring a 3.0, Mercedes’ Command scoring a 3.1and Chevy’s MyLink scoring a 3.7.

    When it came to Apple’s Siri, the hands-free system had the lowest level of intuitiveness and furthermore the highest level of complexity. Combining the two together led many to make mistakes including calling the wrong person and. To make matters worst, some people in the test ended up reporting “frustration with Siri’s occasional sarcasm and wit.”

    With all being said and done, the AAA admitted that although it tested systems from various car manufacturer’s along with Apple’s Siri, it did not test Google Now or Microsoft’s new Cortana systems, both of which could swing either way: be better than Siri or do even worse. That being said, the study leader and psychology professor at the University of Utah, David Strayer, said the following about the results:

    The primary task should be driving. Things that take your attention away make you a poor driver. Even though your car may be configured to support social media, texting and phone calls, it doesn't mean it is safe to do so.
    Knowing about the results, will you be thinking twice about using Siri in the car next time?

    Source: AAA, LA Times via Jalopnik
    This article was originally published in forum thread: New AAA Study Finds Apple's Siri to be One of the Most Distracting Hands-Free Systems started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 22 Comments
    1. psxcancer's Avatar
      psxcancer -
      The real question should be this, are the results rigged and why wouldn't they test Microsoft and Google?
    1. Blue's Avatar
      Blue -
      This "new" study is ********. It was made with iOS 7 (!!!). So neither CarPlay nor Siri Eyes free was used.
    1. Kotin6006's Avatar
      Kotin6006 -
      You cannot compare an in car voice system which are all horrible, I never use the "UVO infotainment system" in my Kia, to holding a device and speaking to it. You are going to have to look at your phone screen to see results or choose an option. This is why apple create a system for cars they obviously realized Siri on your phone wasn't the answer. How do people get paid to do this stupid stuff.
    1. holyshnikes's Avatar
      holyshnikes -
      While I was Beta testing ios 8, I reported a bug in which Siri doesn't dismiss itself after use. So say you're driving with directions and get a text, you can ask siri what the text was. You can then reply without even looking at the phone. A great feature. But after you send the text, Siri stays open and doesn't go back to your driving directions. Which means you have to hit the home button to close out of it, and reopen the maps app, which is hard to do if your driving.

      I've updated the call multiple times with Apple and it's yet to be addressed. It's small stuff like this that make siri in the car hard to use.
    1. XweAponX's Avatar
      XweAponX -
      This is ****-straight-from-a-cows-anus. I use Siri constantly. But it is better if you make some kind of mount to hold the device rigid on your dashboard, that way when you do need to press a button, you do t have to pick up the device. I have a little holder my iPhone snaps right into, I can swivel it around, and it's close to my stereo for plugging the headphone jack into the aux input.

      Idiots who run these tests, I don't know where they are getting their results from.
    1. rockyseay's Avatar
      rockyseay -
      People on this site get mad whenever anyone says something negative about Apple. I bet most of you are still saying IOS 8 is a great experience.
    1. buttamix's Avatar
      buttamix -
      A little trial and error like everything else. It will get better in time
    1. yurasis's Avatar
      yurasis -
      What's really distracting is that thumb ring, wow!
    1. novadam's Avatar
      novadam -
      I never use Siri, in the car or otherwise.
    1. NewD's Avatar
      NewD -
      Most people don't know how to use Siri correctly. They see it as a novelty or a toy. But Siri replaced a 20 hour a week Admin Asst of mine 18 months ago. That's how powerful Siri is.
    1. rockyseay's Avatar
      rockyseay -
      I use Siri for simple things like getting quick information and playing music. That's about it.
    1. cpho's Avatar
      cpho -
      Quote Originally Posted by yurasis View Post
      What's really distracting is that thumb ring, wow!
      That's hilarious
    1. therandy's Avatar
      therandy -
      I use Siri daily!! Texting, emailing, trailer watching, movie times, name that song, turning on/off settings....it's endless how much I use it. I travel weekly out of my home state and Siri finds me places to eat based on ratings or a specific food item I'm looking for!!! I agree that people that complain just don't know how to use it.

      Perfect example. My mom holds the home button to activate Siri, and then proceeds to put the phone so close to her mouth that there's no way Siri has any idea wth she just said, and then she complains about it not working.

      Use Siri at the same distance as the passenger in you car or in normal conversation. No need to scream or eat your phone.

      On topic - Siri was marketed as a personal assistant I thought (I may be wrong)...NOT a hands free car device. This study by AAA is BS
    1. Scotty Manley Silberhorn's Avatar
      Scotty Manley Silberhorn -
      Quote Originally Posted by rockyseay View Post
      People on this site get mad whenever anyone says something negative about Apple. I bet most of you are still saying IOS 8 is a great experience.
      8.0.2 is more reliable than iOS 7.1.2 was... I manage 2500 iPads and can confidently say this.
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Siri is definitely better on iOS 8! On 7 and below, I could agree with this study but it's A LOT better at recognizing speech even through third party mics in a car.
    1. rockyseay's Avatar
      rockyseay -
      Quote Originally Posted by Scotty Manley Silberhorn View Post
      8.0.2 is more reliable than iOS 7.1.2 was... I manage 2500 iPads and can confidently say this.
      Bull crap. 8.0.2 is the most unstable IOS ever released by Apple. You're totally full of it.
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      On a scale of 1 to 4 Siri got a 4.15? I'm seriously doubting the scientific merits of this study.

      Besides, I used to deliver food for a living - I could talk on the phone while eating a sandwich and shift while making a left turn (this is absolutely true) with no problem. Each person has a different capacity to understand or control their environment. Some people may crash just trying to change the radio station.

      I was driving the other day and having a group text conversation with my entire family via Siri. It was dead simple. I only had to glance down briefly to see if there were any errors (there weren't any). In fact, the only wrench in the works was the fact that I had to hide my cell phone from cops - if I could hold it up above my steering wheel that would have been much safer.
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Quote Originally Posted by rockyseay View Post
      Bull crap. 8.0.2 is the most unstable IOS ever released by Apple. You're totally full of it.
      I think he's talking about Siri on 8.0.2, not the OS. The OS on 8.0.2 is full of bugs; there's no arguing that.
    1. NewD's Avatar
      NewD -
      8.1b2 is smooth as silk. Hang in there. Smoother days are right around the corner. 8.1 GM launch date October 21 from all reports I've read.
    1. twigwonderkid's Avatar
      twigwonderkid -
      Really, how do I get on these "studies"
      I really really want a job in this. We did a study and having spent thousands found that people that eat lots of burgers get fat.
      AAA do a study with people that don't use Siri,. Stick them in a car and then say, "hey they crashed"
      AAA take a driver, take his normal car that he drives every day. Change his radio to a new fangled one that he's never used. Get him to drive at 60mph , then say - change the station , tune into new station and configure Bluetooth, guess what they would crash.

      However, take ios8, use an iphone 6, have it plugged in so that "hey siri works", and use someone whos familiar with Siri and guess what - so easy.

      who makes up these studies , please employ me to do pointless surveys.
      man dyes hair every day with strong chemicals - hair falls out after a number of years ! - really
      car with lots of tread , stops sooner than car with little tread ! - really