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Watch TV On Your Satnav 225

Posted by kdawson
from the stupid-goes-right-to-the-bone dept.
Barence writes "Satnav firm Mio is launching a device with an integrated TV tuner. The Mio Spirit range includes a digital television tuner that is intended to be used 'during breaks in the journey or at their final destination.' However, safety campaigners fear there's little to stop the television being used at the wheel. When the system is first turned on a warning message is displayed, telling the user not to watch television while driving. If this is ignored, a secondary warning message kicks in if the GPS chip detects the vehicle is moving at more than 5mph. But that's it!"
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Watch TV On Your Satnav

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  • I always thought that warning messages were more likely to get you killed in the 0.05s you spend pressing "ok" when you could have done the one thing you wanted to do.
    • Re:First post? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jurily (900488) <jurily@noSpAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @02:11AM (#28435329)

      I always thought that warning messages were more likely to get you killed in the 0.05s you spend pressing "ok" when you could have done the one thing you wanted to do.

      They'd be more effective to only let you use the TV in "radio mode", e.g. no video to distract you from the road.

    • by QuantumG (50515) *

      Indeed. My in-dash navigation system often pops up warnings telling me that the map information hasn't been verified for the area that I'm in... covering up the map in doing so.. requiring me to press OK on the touch screen or wait 30 seconds.. which is about 10x longer than it needs to be there.

      • by mcvos (645701)

        Why don't they use an audio message instead? That's not only safer, but also sounds a lot more effective as a warning.

        • Re:First post? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @02:48AM (#28435579) Homepage Journal

          My guess would be because they're fucking morons.

        • by c6gunner (950153)

          Because it's pretty ineffective when you've got the music turned up?

          I've pretty much disabled all voice functionality on my GPS because I can't hear it half the time anyway, and trying to reach my volume knob is almost as distracting as having to hit that "ok" buton.

          • They could add an orange border, or a banner at the bottom, or any number of options not requiring user interaction just as easily.
          • by xaxa (988988)

            How about some interface with the car media player. You could then set the sat-nav to mute the music when it wants to say something.

            (Similar to the setting on car radios that let you have traffic announcements from a different station interrupt whatever you're listening to.)

            • by c6gunner (950153)

              Yeah, my GPS has that option ... the problem is that it accomplishes it by radio transmission. Which works great if I'm listening to music playing from the GPS, but it's useless if I'm listening to a CD or any other source.

              For built-in units it's a great idea - you could wire it to make it's announcements over whatever happens to be playing. But for stand-alone units like the Mio or my Garmin it's not really feasible.

            • by Muad'Dave (255648)

              How about some interface with the car media player. You could then set the sat-nav to mute the music when it wants to say something.

              My 2003 Mini Cooper S factory nav system does that. I didn't realize that all in-dash systems didn't. The voice of my nav system (Fiona) mutes whatever I'm listening to when she wants to tell me something.

              I've had a lot of people wonder if she's a scofflaw; it sounds like she says, "If possible make ILLEGAL U-turn" instead of "If possible, make A LEGAL U-turn".

  • by Brett Buck (811747) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @01:59AM (#28435253)

    Even the current GPS units/DVD players can easily be defeated. In most cases, all you need to do is ground one of the pins in the connector, and it always thinks you are parked. My brother has been playing Family Guy DVDs in his in-dash unit for years. The SAME Family Guy DVD.

              Brett

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mike1024 (184871) *

      Even the current GPS units/DVD players can easily be defeated. In most cases, all you need to do is ground one of the pins in the connector, and it always thinks you are parked.

      I've heard some people who want a GPS/DVD player with the GPS functions disabled take the even more nefarious route of just buying a DVD player :-)

  • But should it really be up to the device to monitor this? Can't I use my navigator to let the kids watch TV in the back seat if I don't need it for navigating?

    A nav system integrated into the front console would be another story though...

    • by IBBoard (1128019) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @03:38AM (#28435861) Homepage

      Exactly what I was thinking - there's a use case where you know your route but only want to carry one device and so entertain the other passengers by using it as the TV rather than using the SatNav (which you may need later) as a navigation device.

      Yeah, people watching TV while driving is a problem, but there are far more prevalent problems that'll cause just as many accidents: people doing 100Mph+ on Motorways with warnings of queuing ahead, people not indicating, people on mobile phones, etc.

      • I had to drive past someone on a bike while texting on the weekend. Not an easy task. The guy was all over the road asking to be hit by someone not watching. It should be against the law to drive, bike, or whatever while trying to do something like distracting. If they do cause an accident it should be man slaughter because there is definitely negligence. Most of us are smart enough not to drive drunk its almost exactly the same thing.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by lxs (131946)

        Whatever happened to sitting in the back shutting the fuck up and feeling miserable? I miss those days.

  • That's fine.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @02:07AM (#28435307)

    ..there is such a thing as personal responsibility and we don't need a nanny to babysit us all the time.

    Life is like Unix and you are the superuser. With that comes the power to 'rm -rf' the system.. intentionally or not.

    --iamnotayam

    • by Barny (103770) <bakadamage-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @02:11AM (#28435327) Homepage Journal

      Thats a first, a computer analogy to describe a car.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by mail2345 (1201389)
      With that, I say: And if your sharing the system(the road) with others?
    • Re:That's fine.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Unipuma (532655) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @03:04AM (#28435653)

      Sadly, they are not on the road all on their own. And as much as I won't miss them if they drive into a ravine while watching TV, I'm a bit less happy if they're driving in the oncoming lane on the same road I'm driving (or more likely, in my lane while they are fiddling with the controls).

      (Kind of like I'm fine with them being superuser on their own system, but what do you do when they need to have modify rights to a network drive which also contains my work)

      • by wisty (1335733)

        Sadly, they are not on the road all on their own. And as much as I won't miss them if they drive into a ravine while watching TV, I'm a bit less happy if they're driving in the oncoming lane on the same road I'm driving (or more likely, in my lane while they are fiddling with the controls).

        (Kind of like I'm fine with them being superuser on their own system, but what do you do when they need to have modify rights to a network drive which also contains my work)

        So it's more like a shared DOS system, where everyone is a superuser, and they can all FORMAT C?

      • I would suggest that no safety concern justifies the implementation of *ineffectual* safety requirements. The ubiquity of portable television devices and personal media players (heck, my *phone* is a personal media player) insure that anybody who wants to watch TV while driving will have the ability to do so. Arbitrarily closing out one of the many LCD screens available to them is not going to prevent someone from watching a video screen [google.com] if they so choose.

        The only real deterrent would be enforcement -- poli

    • Re:That's fine.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by johannesg (664142) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @03:04AM (#28435657)

      ..there is such a thing as personal responsibility and we don't need a nanny to babysit us all the time.

      Life is like Unix and you are the superuser. With that comes the power to 'rm -rf' the system.. intentionally or not.

      --iamnotayam

      Nobody really cares if the driver kills himself while being terminally stupid. The problem is that they tend to take other people with them, people who did not have any part in their idiot choices. Your right to watch TV while driving does not override other people's right to live.

    • by Hognoxious (631665) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @03:06AM (#28435673) Homepage Journal
      And if you kill someone, you can just restore him from a backup!
    • Re:That's fine.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rastoboy29 (807168) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @03:22AM (#28435779) Homepage
      That is fine, except for the existence of nincompoops who are liable to rm -rf *you* or *me* while their texting or watching tv while driving.

      Some people should not be allowed to have root access sometimes.
      • by Draek (916851)

        Some people shouldn't be allowed to own a computer. And I'd be extremely glad if a law was passed prohibiting any idiot using a cellphone or TV while driving from ever touching a driving wheel in their lifetime.

    • by GF678 (1453005)

      With that comes the power to 'rm -rf' the system.. intentionally or not.

      A chemist friend of mine keeps an extremely corrosive acid (I forget what type) in a bottle marked "rm -rf"

      Very apt name for whoever gets their hands covered in it...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ihlosi (895663)
      ..there is such a thing as personal responsibility

      Your personal responsibility should be limited to your net worth. Otherwise, it's not your personal responsibility, but someone elses (whoever has to eat the difference between what you and your insurance are able to pay and the actual damage you caused).

  • Nice! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by madfilipino (557839) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @02:10AM (#28435315)
    Get shitty drivers and give them mobile phones to talk on so they become even shittier drivers. Now get those bastards to watch TV while talking and texting on their mobile phones and we'll have the shittiest drivers on the road. Hopefully, these bastards will kill themselves without killing others, making the road safer for everyone else.

    Oh well, back to reality.
    • by mcvos (645701)

      Hopefully, these bastards will kill themselves without killing others, making the road safer for everyone else.

      Would be nice, but what if they're driving SUVs? Then they kill others with little harm to themselves.

      • by johannesg (664142)

        Hopefully, these bastards will kill themselves without killing others, making the road safer for everyone else.

        Would be nice, but what if they're driving SUVs? Then they kill others with little harm to themselves.

        Summary executions on the side of the road. It is the only way to be sure...

  • Because if only.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by profplump (309017) <zach-slashjunk@kotlarek.com> on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @02:13AM (#28435343)

    Because if only we could prevent this one particular stupid thing people can do while driving we will eliminate all driving-related injuries and deaths.

    Seriously, there is an endless supply of stupid, distracting things people can do while driving, with out without GPS, a cell phone, TV, children, or any of the other things they might have in their car. If someone is stupid enough to be distracted by TV while they're driving they'll likely be able to find something similarly stupid to do even if you ban every bit of technology you can name from the dashboard. Like DRM, the only thing you'll accomplish by adding silly technologically restrictions like this is annoyance for people who have legitimate uses.

    • Re:Because if only.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by JaxTJ (855706) * on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @02:35AM (#28435493)
      Absolutely. I used to have a 45-minute commute to work when I lived in New Jersey and I honestly can't remember the number of times that I was almost run into by someone in a 3-ton SUV that was talking or texting instead of driving.

      Japanese taxi drivers frequently have the TV playing on their nav units while driving, but they are among the safest drivers I've ever ridden with. I think two way communication is far more taxing to a driver's attention than a receive-only medium.
      • by Aladrin (926209)

        I don't think it's 'taxing' that's the problem so much as that if your eyes are on the satnav, they aren't on the road. No amount of concentration will allow you to look in 2 places at once.

    • adding silly technologically restrictions like this is annoyance for people who have legitimate uses.

      Can you tell me ONE "legitimate use" for using a TV while driving?

      • by ericrost (1049312)

        Entertaining children so they don't throw things at the back of your head while screaming at the top of their lungs.

    • Because if only we could prevent this one particular stupid thing people can do while driving we will eliminate all driving-related injuries and deaths.

      Every little bit helps.

      But I can't help wondering why the multi-tasking geek always trots out this excuse for inaction.

      It's a patently false dilemma.

      We can do other things while we do this one thing.

  • I never watch TV while driving ... however, I do frequently shower and shave while driving.
  • TV should not work while the satnav moves faster than, say, 5 km/h!`
    Or, if you switch TV on, it must stay still otherwise it will turn off.
    It's simple, but will never be implemented!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by QuantumG (50515) *

      Ya, that's exactly what Dodge's in-car navigation system does. And it is annoying as hell, as I'm quite capable of driving and not getting distracted by the tv while the passengers watch it.

    • What if you know the way, and your kids want to watch TV while you're driving?

      • So your kids watch TV from 3 feet on a 10" screen?
        • by vlm (69642)

          So your kids watch TV from 3 feet on a 10" screen?

          Uh, yes, yes they do? A scene right out of my own childhood with a little TV on a kids desk. Its actually a nearly ideal angular dimension... My livingroom couch is about nine feet way from about a 30 inch screen, same ratio. Then there's our portable DVD player, about 5 inch screen at 1.5 feet, same ratio. Your point?

    • by diskis (221264) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @03:21AM (#28435775)

      What about ferries? A hour long ferry ride would be the perfect use for a TV, but the satnav shuts itself down when the ferry leaves the port.

      • The satnav knows that you're floating atop a ferry!
  • I'd say you've got about two minutes.
  • Puhleez (Score:4, Funny)

    by TopSpin (753) * on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @02:47AM (#28435571) Journal

    safety campaigners fear there's little to stop the television being used at the wheel

    Silly safety campaigners... don't they know we're too busy texting on our mobile phones while driving to watch TV?

  • When the system is first turned on a warning message is displayed, telling the user not to watch television while driving. If this is ignored, a secondary warning message kicks in if the GPS chip detects the vehicle is moving at more than 5mph. But that's it!"

    I thought the whole point of "in car entertainment systems" was for the passengers, hence why you have displays in the back of the front seats and so on. For the kids to watch DVDs during long drives or whatever. To me that sounds much more useful than a system that only plays when stationary, because it's only occasionally that one sits in a stationary car for the duration of a TV episode.

    Plenty of systems also provide a screen for the front seat passenger.

    Playing videos while the car is in motion is a req

    • I was just thinking that. What about my passengers? Why can't they watch TV while I drive? It's like saying having a bar in your car is illegal because you might drink. I don't have to. But I might want to offer the boozeheads I transport something to shut up and be drunk.

      I dunno what's more a distraction, TV in the car or bored kids. From my experience, I'd say the latter.

  • Is possible in my brothers brand new 2009 ( some asian car model). [Maybe If I remember I will find out and post it later.] It doesn't matter, I don't know the brand of the navigation system as well. What is important is that he can watch DVD's while driving. The only safety feature is that the parking brake has to be engagded, but only one click and he can watch DVD's while driving. That is nothing. He could drving across europe without problems with the hand brake engaged to the first ratchet.
    • Is possible in my brothers brand new 2009 ( some asian car model). [Maybe If I remember I will find out and post it later.] It doesn't matter, I don't know the brand of the navigation system as well. What is important is that he can watch DVD's while driving. The only safety feature is that the parking brake has to be engagded, but only one click and he can watch DVD's while driving. That is nothing. He could drving across europe without problems with the hand brake engaged to the first ratchet.

      Superb trying to drive for hours with the handbrake on means you will have a break failure in an instant, best way to kill yourself...
      Your brother should be candidate for the Darwin Awards!

  • Great (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CaPn Corelian (575148)
    More distractions for drivers will eventually mean more cyclists being killed on the road. Looking on the bright side, this could accelerate the eventual transition towards having computers assume control of vehicles on the streets.
  • It's called... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Antony-Kyre (807195) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @03:47AM (#28435905)

    wreckless driving, and it shouldn't be tolerated. Shouldn't anyone watching TV while driving lose their license?

    • by kobatan (1103577) <slashdot00001@kobata n . com> on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @03:56AM (#28435965) Homepage

      Umm... it's called *reckless* driving!

      Wreckless driving is desirable.

  • The reason people do things like watch television or tweet or text while behind the wheel is because they aren't afraid. They don't believe anything can happen to them. The punishment for this kind of thing should be severe. After all, they put all on the road at risk with this behavior. If the punishment actually reflected the crime then more might become cautious. I think reckless endangerment would be a good charge. A year or two in prison for subjecting their fellow motorists to the risk of loosi
  • I personally detest every bit of kit that assumes I'm some sort of moron who obviously needs to be told everything.

    We have microwaves that bleep for 5 minutes just on the off chance that someone doesn't realise that microwaving means hot food, I have a dishwasher doing the same and I have come across plenty kit that keeps beeping until it gets attention, like a small child. In that same vein I consider UIs that time out so you have to do everything in a certain amount of time - the whole point of a machine

  • The Japanese models turn the TV off altogether when the car starts moving but you can slip the dealer a bit of cash and he'll turn that "feature" off for you.
  • Not acceptable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Presumably all the people who find this acceptable would have no problem if the surgeon putting them back together after they crash watches TV whilst doing the surgery.

  • And A Dollar Short (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DynaSoar (714234) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @04:15AM (#28436057) Journal

    "... safety campaigners fear there's little to stop the television being used at the wheel."

    When the original version of The Andromeda Strain aired on TV circa 1971, I packed a 12" B&W Zenith portable with a 12 V DC car cigarette lighter adapter into a friend's car and we set out watching it. He made it 2 blocks before hitting a curb. I tried and made it 1 block before doing the same. We then parked and watched the rest.

    So they're right to be alarmed. They're just several decades late. But then, we knew it was stupid to try it. I suspect far more people these days wouldn't realize that unless the TV told them, and then many would still ignore it. I'd wish for natural selection to take its course with them, except it might do so head on with someone not deserving of the same fate.

  • A lot of these "safety features" are just a nuisance...
    Many satnavs wont let you adjust the route if you're moving, but what if a passenger in the vehicle is trying the adjust the route on behalf of the driver? Similarly with TV, what if passengers want to watch it?

    Stupid drivers will kill themselves regardless, if they can't watch tv on this as they drive they will just take their own portable set, or portable dvd player, or use a phone, or whatever else they're gonna do which is dangerous. All these "safe

    • Similarly with TV, what if passengers want to watch it?

      Install it so the screen is not in the drivers field of vision.

      All these "safety features" do is inconvenience the legitimate users.

      I'd love to hear what the 'legitimate use' is for the driver watching TV as they drive?
  • A road I often travel down used to have no speed limit, then it was 40mph, then 30mph and soon it will be 20mph. I have no doubt that the speed limit will eventually be a rigidly enforced 5mph and I can happily watch tv to while away the many hours on the road.

  • What about passengers? Just because the car is moving means the passengers aren't allowed to watch TV? Now if they use seat sensors to determine if someone else is in the car first, I would find that as a suitable compromise. However, I'd rather see a suspended license law if caught driving recklessly while the TV is on or something. Not just a ticket, but suspend their license. Most people would think twice if1 strike and they're out.
  • ATSC (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Reed Solomon (897367) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @08:22AM (#28437301) Homepage

    Isn't one of the drawbacks of an ATSC digital signal that it's difficult to maintain a lock on it while you're in motion? They're advertising it as something to do once you arrive in your destination, so its not like people haven't been warned about the realities of the situation

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