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Car makers are working diligently to differentiate their vehicles with feature-rich and ever-more complicated digita ...

Car makers are working diligently to differentiate their vehicles with feature-rich and ever-more complicated digital dashboards for navigation and entertainment. Borrowing a page from the iPad,http://www.myefox.fr/tablette-pc-et-notebook-android-tablet-pc-c-129_130 some car makers are using touchscreens to simplify the process, but are they still too much of a distraction for drivers?

Federal safety regulators are concerned that a new generation of advanced car dashboard controls may pose a safety risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to issue new guidelines for the design of in-car multimedia systems. The Wall Street Journal reports the guidelines will be aimed at reducing the danger these new high tech dashboards might keep drivers' eyes away from the road while driving.

The news comes after the National Transportation Safety Board said on Tuesday that all states should ban cellphone use while driving.http://www.myefox.fr/google-android-2-1-tablette-pc-10-pouces-cran-tactile-mid-apad-wifi-gps-e-book-tablet-pc-hdmi-epad-p-9480 The NTSB also called on phone makers to develop features that discourage use when people are behind the wheel.

The Journal notes a recent survey of more than 18,000 vehicle owners by market research firm J.D. Power and Associates that found high levels of dissatisfaction with many factory-installed navigation systems.

Automakers are hoping more user friendly touchscreen interfaces similar to the iPad will be less of a distraction at highway speeds. But as the Journal notes: “even the iPad, praised for its ease of use, is unsafe to operate with one hand on a steering wheel and a foot on the gas.”

Also, a common complaint by users of touchscreens in cars already is that they don’t always respond to the first touch, or at least not right away.

Automakers are banking on more powerful systems to speed up touch response times. Others, like Ford, include a tone when a virtual button is pushed to let the user know that their touch input was recognized.

Last month electric carmaker Tesla Motor’s previewed its Model S sedan that features a 17-inch touchscreen on the dash that looks like a giant iPad. Among other features, the touchscreen system is a music player,http://www.myefox.fr/tablette-pc-et-notebook-mid-c-129_469 a navigation system, offers hand-free calling, a rear-view camera, and climate controls.

Last week French car maker Renault announced that it's working with personal navigation device (PND) supplier TomTom on an Android-powered tablet it hopes to have available in Renault cars by the end of next year.

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