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Shell Asks Carmakers to Deactivate In-Car GPS Devices

December 10, 2009

With a worldwide fleet of 14,000 vehicles, Shell, a global group of energy and petrochemicals companies, has asked automakers to disable satellite navigation systems while a vehicle is in motion, reports

The goal of this request is to prevent drivers from being distracted while driving. If automakers comply, the in-car satellite navigation systems could only be used when the vehicle is in a stationary position. Once the vehicle is in motion, the screen would become blank and drivers would no longer be able to view the map. However, voice instructions would still operate.

According to the news report, Shell has asked BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler about the initiative, and will soon be talking to Ford and Opel.

Currently, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have agreed to the deal; however, the carmakers have yet to offer a vehicle with a deactivated system.

With a health and safety policy that states that all accidents are preventable, Shell has already banned its drivers from using cell phones while driving. Additionally, the company's drivers have been told not to accept portable navigation systems that are offered by Shell's rental car provider in some countries.

Shell hopes other fleet managers follow its lead. The company realizes that navigation systems have some benefits, including reducing emissions, but feels there is no need for the screen to be operational when a vehicle is in motion.


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