Smartphones and tablets are excellent navigational tools, and people use them often to get from Point A to Point B. Many put Google Maps or similar apps to use when behind the wheels of their cars -- a big reason such apps were created. The government contends this is a safety risk. Many of today's cars ship with in-dash navigation systems, but these are already overseen loosely by the federal government. Smartphone- and tablet-based navigation apps are not, at least not officially. That may be about to change.
Proposed legislation would give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the authority to regulate navigation apps used on smartphones and tablets when in moving vehicles. The language is buried in the Obama administration's larger transportation act, known as the GROW AMERICA Act, or "Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America." Congress will soon evaluate the proposal. Carmakers support the new measures to a degree, but technology companies do not. The biggest issue may be the ability to enforce such regulation.
Government Data + Maps: 10 Great Examples
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