Update Your Facebook Status While You Drive?

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GM is testing an application that allows drivers to search Facebook through the OnStar communications systems it puts in its cars, Reuters reports. The system will provide drivers with access to the social media site through speech recognition, and text messages will come back to the driver through a system that produces audible messages.

The function is the latest in a long line of voice applications in cars that started with cellular technology. GM is gambling that Facebook is so popular, with 500 million subscribers around the world, that the new feature will be a sales tool and give its cars a competitive edge.

The "verbal" Facebook product will raise the issue once again of how distracted drivers become when they operate technology in their cars. Texting and cell phone use while driving has caused accidents, and using these wireless features while driiving are now restricted by law in many states.

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Car companies seem more and more willing to gamble that new features that pose risks can be offset by the marketing edge that they give. It'is an edge that may work when people shop for a new car, but it may be quite another thing when they are trying to concentrate on driving.
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