iCrash: Is In-Car iPad Installation Really a Good Idea?

The best thing about the iPad is it lets you take rich media anywhere, including your car. Forget built-in DVD players, now the kiddies can watch movies, play games, listen to music, or even read books (people still do that, right?) on the go.

Some people, like Doug from the Santa Clarita, California-based car audio shop the Sound Man, are taking the idea to the extreme by actually installing the iPad into the car's dash. See a step-by-step how-to in the video below.

Questions for Doug: Will you replace the current device with a 3G version to use apps like Pandora on the go later this year, or do you plan to use a portable hotspot device? The car is a Toyota, so is the device extra secure in case there's a sudden speed-rev that won't quit, or is it going to topple out when you press the gas? Do you have to remove the iPad and carry it everywhere you go to prevent someone from breaking into your car and stealing it?

Other ideas are surfacing as well, such as this more low-tech option from Tweetphoto user hmltn.

Besides the (admittedly silly) above questions, the most important question here is that of safety. As it is now, in-vehicle screens are usually out of sight of the driver, who has that lame, media-free job of driving the car from point A to point B. So boring. But now that the rich colors, the zooming menus, the practically unlimited library of games is available literally at your iFingertips, will the driver be able to resist looking over, or, Heaven forbid, participating? Twenty-one states now ban texting, and six completely ban handset use. Is the iPad the new drive-and-text?

Most people will not go to this extreme, but the issue of ultimate media portability plus driver safety is a good one to raise. What do you think? Let us know below.

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