Feeds

Speech-to-text drives motorists to distraction

Will talking to you mean I crash into that car up ahead, Siri?

SANS - Survey on application security programs

With texting so clearly dangerous while driving, users and vendors have turned to speech-to-text technologies as a safe alternative, perhaps to no avail.

According to a study published by US road safety group the AAA Foundation, speech-to-text technologies are more distracting than talking to other passengers in the car. The research backs up a simpler study carried out earlier this year in Texas.

To test cognitive distraction, the AAA conducted three experiments. In the first, volunteers performed eight tasks, and in the second, they carried out the same tasks while driving in a simulator. Finally, they drove an instrumented vehicle through a city residential area. The 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.

In the driving simulator, speech-to-text operation was worse (noting the large error bars) 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.

Other symptoms of distraction the researchers measured included “suppressed brain activity … missed visual cues, and reduced visual scanning of the driving environment (think tunnel vision).”

As the AAA Foundation notes: “Though shipments of these systems are expected to skyrocket in the coming years, use of speech-to-text communications presented the highest level of cognitive distraction of all the tasks we analysed.”

On the other hand – and apparently refuting an urban myth that car radios are just as great a distraction – the research found that listening to the radio or audiobooks only caused “minor increases in cognitive workload”.

The research was conducted with the University of Utah. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.