Monday, February 28, 2011

Owners of Rival Car Company Don't Like Ford's Better Idea

The New York Times reports that officials from a rival car company don't like Ford's idea of putting communication centers in their new offerings. That would not be news, except that the owner of the rival car company is the US Government!

Ray LaHood, the secretary of transportation, is livid about the dashboard bells and whistles. When he saw a Ford ad with a bubbly young woman named Kelly using the new souped-up system to gab on the phone hands-free and not paying attention to the road, he called Alan Mulally, the president and C.E.O of Ford.

“I said to him, ‘That girl looks so distracted, it belies belief that this is what you want in terms of safety,’ ” LaHood told me. “Putting entertainment centers in automobiles does not contribute to safe driving. When you’re trying to update your Facebook or put out a tweet, it’s a distraction.”

He said he would compile his own statistics, meet with car executives and use the bully pulpit. “We’ll see what the auto companies can do voluntarily and what we need to do otherwise,” he said. “I don’t think drivers should be doing any of that.”

Hey, Government Motors, you are getting out innovated by a private company. Is that a surprise? People are going to talk on their cells while on the road. I'd rather they do so with a communications device that is designed for safe driving hands-free operation. The whole event is another reason why government should not own businesses. They can legislate against their competitors innovations to the detriment of consumers.


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