The rise of 'infotainment' Technology in cars has caused a professor to raise concern about the distraction the newest cars are providing for drivers. New technology on steering wheels and on dashboards, including the ability to surf the Web, are causing unprecedented levels of driver distraction. Technology is advancing in all industries, but the auto industry is moving quicker than most.

Study done on technology distracting drivers

University of Utah professor David Strayer released the study today. His work has focused on the new breed of infotainment systems, complicated resources for entertainment and driver info.

Owing to the fact that many of these systems are so complex, they do require a degree of input from the driver. The problem is that a number of operations require quite deep input, to the extent that drivers are not able to give their full attention to the road ahead. The report he has produced contains the outcome of research he has been undertaking since 2013. Strayer has found that the more recent technology found in cars has worsened the situation.

According to CNBC, Strayer said: "It's adding more and more layers of complexity and information at drivers' fingertips without often considering whether it's a good idea to put it at their fingertips".

The auto industry has a view too

Carmakers have been pushing the envelope year after year and with technology becoming so advanced and intuitive, it seems only natural that the way cars work and support drivers should undergo a huge change.

For a long time, automakers have argued that technology in the dashboard and the steering wheel is infinitely preferable to using a smartphone, for example. But with Strayer's research, it seems that the argument is focusing on the dangers that complicated technology and their interfaces, present inside a vehicle.

The more costly a car, the more involving the technology

Many people will have at least some examples of developed technology in their cars. However, the fast pace of change has meant a whole plethora of distracting content is now available. One of the most common additions to the driving experience is the modern heads-up display, which is literally projected onto the windscreen of the vehicle.

In addition to that piece of technology, drivers may also have to give their attention to other items, such as touchscreen technology, writing pads and voice-activated units.

The AAA's Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned the study, and they have found the results to be alarming. Marshall Doney, it's President and CEO, told CNBC: "Drivers want technology that is safe and easy to use, but many of the features added to infotainment systems today have resulted in overly complex and sometimes frustrating user experiences for drivers."