The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has cancelled a meeting that was scheduled for Oct. 15 to discuss possible safety hazards of new driver assistance and information technologies.

Known as telematics, the technologies include a range of devices that transmit, receive or display information in automobiles and trucks. Examples include collision notification systems, navigation systems, driver warning systems, as well as in-vehicle fax machines, telephones and other communication equipment.
"Many of the functions performed by these devices promise direct safety benefits," NHTSA said. "However, devices which provide drivers with additional information could also distract the driver from the task of operating the vehicle and increase the risk of crashes."
The intent of the meeting is to share viewpoints and findings relative to the safety of telematics. Discussion topics include the need for research regarding the safety implications of telematics, the role of various entities in promoting proper design and use of the devices, and opportunities for safety impact evaluations.
No reason for the meeting cancellation was given. NHTSA has established Docket No. NHTSA-99-6270 to receive written comments on the subject. It can be accessed on the Internet at
For further information contact Rita Gibbons, Research and Development, (202) 366-4862, e-mail or Dr. August Burgett, Office of Vehicle Safety Research, (202) 366-5663,