Without a doubt, car technology has contributed hugely to the vast improvement in road safety over the last decades. However, is the rush to provide motorists with all the trappings of the 'connected' world in their cars increasing the distraction potential for drivers?
Also, is there a danger that some technological developments which take over driving and emergency reaction from the driver may actually cause drivers to pay less attention to the road and driving conditions?
These and related questions will be debated at an upcoming Automotive Forum organised by the Irish Motoring Writers' Association (IMWA) and sponsored by Continental Tyres.
The Forum, which is open to the public, will be held at the RDS in Ballsbridge on Friday morning, August 30.
The topic will be debated by two expert speakers: Dr Natasha Merat, Associate Professor at the University of Leeds-based Institute for Transport Studies; and leading car technology expert Pim van der Jagt, Head of Research and Development at Ford of Europe.
"Driving is the single most dangerous activity we engage in on a daily basis," said Gerry Murphy, Chairman of the IMWA. "We say that safety is always paramount, but by loading cars with technology, are we reaching a tipping point in the level of distraction for drivers?
"Our expert speakers' discussion on this topic should be compelling listening for anyone interested in road safety or what is coming in automotive technologies."
"With Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) becoming obligatory on all new cars from next year, even tyres are not exempt from the onward march of new technologies in the car," said Tom Dennigan of Continental Tyres Ireland.
"I am sure the IMWA Forum will provide some fascinating insights into how increased levels of technology will impact on our driving."
The event is aimed at a wide audience, including those interested in car technology development, road safety, and companies from the motoring sector. Admission is free but advance registration is required. For further information email Dawn Burke at: firstname.lastname@example.org.