Apple iPhone Seeks To Block Texting While Driving

by CXOtoday News Desk    Apr 28, 2014

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Apple is all about innovation and the company is relentlessly working on areas such as sensors and intelligent devices. Recently the tech giant has filed a patent application for a system by introducing speed sensors in cars will stop drivers from sending messages on cell phones. In other words, the device would stop drivers being able to access the iPhone’s messaging app.

The document filed on behalf of Apple suggests that the company is looking to develop ‘lockout mechanisms’ that disable cell phones from performing certain functions, such as texting, while driving.

While the police finds it hard to catch drivers who are texting because the device ‘can be used out of sight’ a recent data shows that texting increased the risk of crashing 23 times and slowed a drivers reaction by more than a third.

The patent describes how sensors in a mobile phone could tell how quickly a person was moving and would be sensitive enough to work out whether a person was in the driving seat or in a safe operating area of a vehicle, allowing passengers to text as normal.

 “The device can comprise a motion analyzer, a scenery analyzer and a lock-out mechanism. The motion analyzer can detect whether the handheld computing device is in motion beyond a predetermined threshold level. While the scenery analyzer can determine whether a holder of handheld computing device is located within a safe operating area of a vehicle, the lock-out mechanism can disable one or more functions of the handheld computing device based on output of the motion analyzer, and enable the one or more functions based on output of the scenery analyzer,” it said.

The patent added that the vehicle itself could contain technology that could effectively block the signal to a phone inside a moving car. The patent application was filed in 2008, but was only published and granted recently. The patented feature should also be able to work in cars that don’t have Apple hardware installed, as the patent described.

In a report to The Times, Paul Watters, head of motoring policy for the AA, said: ‘Apple could have the power to change the culture behind texting and driving, if it works and is intuitive. That would be a very good step.’

The function could win over fans in the government, and would more than likely be a parent favorite. The big question is whether iPhone users would embrace it or abandon the iPhone because of it — after all, people text while driving for a reason: they want to text. The robots in I, Robot wanted to prevent the humans from endangering themselves, and that didn’t end too well for the robots.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Apple has filed a patent for ‘transparent texting’ technology to make texting while walking safer by replacing the text background with a live video feed of whatever is in front of the smartphone user.