The Consumer Electronics Association has launched a broad-based initiative to educate consumers and policymakers on the role of innovation in enhancing driver safety. The multi-phased campaign, “Innovating Safety,” kicked off 10/9 at a Real Clear Politics’ policy forum in Washington, D.C.
The forum featured a keynote address by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NB), the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Chairman of the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee for the 113th Congress. Chairman Terry’s remarks were followed by a panel discussion including Thomas Malone, president of Audiovox Electronics, a CEA member, and moderated by Real Clear Politics’ Washington, D.C., editor Carl Cannon.
“The variety of products offered by our industry to reduce driver distraction is expanding every day,” Malone said. “The challenge is educating consumers on all of the options available to them. That is where a campaign like Innovating Safety provides an important benefit to consumers.”
“Safety is paramount in a moving vehicle and the consumer electronics industry recognizes that distracted driving is a critical public safety issue,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. “Our Innovating Safety campaign will empower consumers with information on the array of products our members design, build and sell to increase safety and awareness behind the wheel.”
The overall effort focuses on products and applications designed, manufactured and sold by CEA members that encourage safer driving. The campaign features new and existing technological advances including those that can minimize the time a driver’s eyes are off the road, provide advance warning about road conditions and lane changes, improve hands-free functionality, and better integrate mobile devices with in-car electronics.
To bring this information to consumers, CEA launched a website spotlighting a variety of products designed to enhance the driving experience and reduce distracted driving. CEA will feature these products during its nationwide Demo Days, to be held the second weekend of November, and will also showcase them at the International CES, January 7-10, 2014, in Las Vegas.
In June, CEA established the Driver Device Interface Working Group to explore ways to reduce distraction caused by the use of mobile and handheld electronics in cars. Last month, the association hosted a pledge drive in conjunction with the It Can Wait campaign’s national Drive 4 Pledges day of action against texting while driving. CEA also actively supports commonsense state texting bans.