Front-seat television technology is beginning
to creep into the worldwide automotive market, but regulators,
automakers and suppliers say it’s unlikely to take hold in the US.
The growing trend -- said to be more popular in the Asian market than
in North America or Europe -- involves the use of electronic kits that
enable a vehicle’s navigation system to be converted for front-seat TV
reception. Some Japanese suppliers sell the conversion kits into the
automotive aftermarket, and service providers on three continents offer
to install them. With such kits installed, drivers would potentially be
able to view television shows while their cars are moving.
Automakers and suppliers interviewed by Design News called it a bad
idea. “We are categorically against it,” John Hanson, spokesman for
Toyota, told us. “We adhere to the idea that a two-second loss of eye
contact with the road is the absolute maximum. That’s why we are 180
degrees away from the idea that a driver might be watching television.”
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