Similar to Amazon's Alexa, these features give you the convenience of a smart phone without having to touch or look at a screen. Since the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS) states 94 percent of car crashes are caused by distracted driving, a voice-controlled assistant sounds perfect. But there are a couple of instances where you might want to reconsider this feature, or, at the very least, be prepared to overcome some challenges.
If you're not technologically savvy, this may not be for you. You have to program the feature before you start, and there is a learning curve. If you have difficulty with Alexa or other voice-activated features around your house, you might want to reconsider utilizing the voice control feature.
If you have a thick accent, you may have to forego a voice-controlled co-driver. While the units are programmed to understand over a hundred languages, if you speak English as a second or third language, the system may not be able to recognize your accent. The same goes for rural or regional accents which would cause you to be misunderstood. The frustration might be more time-consuming than it’s worth.
But if you fall into one of these categories and love the idea of voice control, you don't have to discard the idea of a co-driver altogether. Improvements are being made every year, and you can take steps to embrace this new technology. In the meantime, if you’re determined to use this feature now, you can always ask your dealer or a friend to help you set up your system, and you can ask your car dealer to let you try a system to see if it understands your accent. This will enable you to make a better purchase.
It's estimated 67 million voice-assisted devices will be in use in the United States alone by 2019. So despite some obstacles, you can still let your voice be heard.