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Health & Science

Study: Voice-Command Systems Contribute To Distracted Driving

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now this. If you have a car with a voice command system, you may have had a conversation like this one from the TV show "Modern Family."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "MODERN FAMILY")

JESSE TYLER FERGUSON: (As Mitchell Pritchett) CD player, next track.

VOICE COMMAND SYSTEM: Say a command.

FERGUSON: (As Mitchell Pritchett) No. CD player, next track.

VOICE COMMAND SYSTEM: Air conditioner on.

FERGUSON: (As Mitchell Pritchett) Damn it.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

(Laughter) While carmakers would like you to think that voice command keeps you focused on the road, two studies published this morning find that is not exactly true.

DAVID STRAYER: Not only is this technology associated with higher levels of workload, but it's also associated with higher levels of frustration.

MARTIN: David Strayer is a professor at the University of Utah who worked on both studies. He finds voice systems lead to destructive driving.

INSKEEP: Strayer says some systems work better than others. The best is Toyota's Entune. The worst is Apple's Siri.

SIRI: Sorry, I'm not sure what you said there.

MARTIN: Knock it off, Siri. You're distracting me.

INSKEEP: (Laughter).

MARTIN: Now, where were we? Oh, yeah. It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.