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Automakers' Telematics Guidelines Are Aimed at Heading Off Regulators

April 15, 2002

Worried that action by federal and state regulators could hurt the potentially lucrative market for mobile communications and entertainment systems, the auto industry is trying to get ahead of the curve by adoptingvoluntary guidelines to make such gadgets safer, according to a Wall Street Journal opinion column by Joseph B. White.These guidelines, developed by a group led by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM), are for the most part fairly technical. The spirit underlying the industry's effort, whichAlliance representatives discussed with federal traffic-safety regulators last week, is laudable -- even if it is self-interested, according to the Journal.White said the guidelines show that automakers and their technology suppliers must demonstrate that all this new in-car gadgetry -- collectively known as telematics -- can be made safe to use, or else there's a chance that lawmakers could put a halt to their business plans.
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