” The Obama administration wants to cripple the navigation and traffic reporting apps on your smartphone. In the name of safety, of course.
Provisions in the proposed transportation bill—which Congress will look at in the next few months—would give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the power to regulate apps like Google Maps and Waze, the crowdsourced traffic reporting tool.
They’re going to start with automobiles’ built-in navigation devices, since regulatory authority is clearer there. Possible “features” include limiting inputs when the car is in motion, or making people click a button saying that they are a passenger.
But of course, if they make the onboard navigation systems in cars suck, people will just turn to their smartphones, right? So they had better regulate those too.
The impulse to regulate against distracted driving has a long, not terribly glorious pedigree, dating all the way back to efforts to go after people who were changing the radio station while driving. In more recent years, talking and texting bans have failed to show clear positive results and may even cause harm.”