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Why Front Passengers Can’t Enter GPS Navigation During the Drive

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2015 Chevy Suburban navigation

If your vehicle has a modern infotainment system, you’re likely familiar with its advantages (and disadvantages). As helpful as functions like navigation and voice-command are while driving, these features also have limitations.

If you’ve experienced the frustration of the front-seat passenger not being able to enter GPS information while the vehicle is in motion, you’re not alone. Apparently, it’s a common dilemma of many touch-screen systems.

CNET contributor Brian Cooley sheds some light on exactly why this problem occurs: Cars automatically disable the input function on infotainment or navigation systems while the vehicle is in motion as a safety measure. Modern vehicles are equipped with the technology to sense when someone is sitting in the front passenger seat. If the navigation function allowed input from the front passenger while the car was in motion, the system would also unlock this capability for the driver. And automakers (understandably) want to avoid this liability.

Even though front passengers might not be able to physically input GPS information, they can usually access the navigation function via voice command. Still, many consumers have found this limitation annoying, to say the least.

Some automakers have tried to work around this lockout issue by incorporating a dual angle dashboard screen. The driver can view GPS information while the front passenger can view other infotainment features. Other manufacturers are considering handing over their infotainment system center stacks to services like Android. This means that Google navigation, media and voice technology will be responsible for these infotainment systems.

News Source: CNET