Ford Brings Fantasy Baseball to Cars. Have We Gone Too Far?

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I have a heart-wrenching internal struggle when it comes to in-car connectivity. On the one hand, I love having navigation, my iPod and phone contacts all easily accessed when I’m driving.

On the other hand, I hate looking to my left, and then to my right, to find myself surrounded by folks staring down at their smartphones … on the highway.

The U.S. Department of Transportation wants to stop distracted driving. Yes, I’m all for that. Ticket those folks staring down at their phones. Tar and feather them. Put them in the gallows. Give their cell numbers to Anthony Weiner. I don’t care, just punish them.

But the government isn’t actually talking about those folks. It wants to go after cars that are “connected.” In the past, I’ve thought that’s the wrong approach. A car computer reading me a text message is no less distracting than driving with my kids in the car — probably much less distracting, actually. And I don’t think the government could prevent my kids from kicking my seat.

The guy reading his BlackBerry could swerve into my lane or not notice traffic in front of him braking. That’s serious.

Then Ford announced today that users of its Sync system will soon be able to get fantasy baseball statistics read to them while they’re driving.

Seriously?

What are you trying to do, Ford? Are you just lobbing softballs for the government to hit out of the park? I can hear the rhetoric now: “There is no need to get a fantasy baseball score in your car!”

Well, duh. Weather, traffic information. That makes sense and would be considered a benefit to most people.

Sports scores and stock quotes? OK, maybe.

Why not fantasy scores? Well, for one thing, you’re not getting your team’s scores read to you, just the top players’ statistics. So you’ll be trying to do math in your head. And for me, that gets distracting. Plus, if you do know that Albert Pujols’ two-homer, four-RBI night sinks your chances for the playoffs, you could get road rage pretty easily.

I’m a huge fantasy football junky and listen to sports radio all the time in test cars. But during football season, I don’t need to get scores in the car. You know why? Because it takes less than 5 seconds to check my team's stats on a computer or smartphone, and I can do that walking to my car, standing in line at Potbelly or while walking the dog.

So Ford, please stop. Why not focus on making the nice lady who says “Playing Pearl Jam” sound more like a real person and not the wife of the computer from “WarGames”? Thanks.

By David Thomas | June 17, 2011 | Comments (3)

Comments 

Jen

You always seem biased against Ford, whether it's on here or Twitter. I have SYNC and I think it's been of great help to me. And some people even drive with passengers in the car who might like to hear it. Let's think about them. Not everyone drives alone.

Additionally, not everyone has a smart phone. So maybe those of us who are still living with "regular" phones appreciate these time-saving and convenient features, like traffic, movie times, etc. If you don't want to use it, then you don't have to. But some of us appreciate it.

Jen,
I actually really like Sync. We don't like the new MyFordTouch system that includes Sync.

We're not biased, we just don't believe the features are the best ones out there on the market. BIG difference.

This rant was more of a "what will they think of next?" like I said and that I don't even think getting a text message read to you is that distracting.

I get more upset that there isn't more being done about the actual people in the car, staring down at a smartphone rather than using something like SYNC. Which I think I state pretty well above.

Matt C.

I always thought the wife of the 'War Games' was hot. I mean the way she says, "Dialing number." LOL

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