Summary Box: Gov’t seeks curb on dashboard tech

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THE TRENDS: Manufacturers have been loading up higher-end vehicles with an array of built-in gadgets. As a result, auto dashboards are becoming an arcade of text messages, GPS images, phone calls and Web surfing.

THE WORRIES: The technological advances have raised concerns that drivers’ attention is being diverted too much from the road.

THE SOLUTION: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing voluntary guidelines for manufacturers, including a recommendation that they design dashboards so that distracting devices are automatically disabled unless the vehicle is stopped and the transmission is in park.