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Apple granted patent to prevent driver distraction

Posting in Transportation

 

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A new patent which could cut down on driver distraction and carelessness has been granted to Apple.

The tech giant, which has recently announced the development of the CarPlay in-car infotainment system, has been granted a new patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) which describes on-board sensors or a direct connection to a car used to limit functionality to Bluetooth and similar technology if the vehicle is moving.

While you're on the road, this means that SMS, email, media streaming and tasks unrelated to driving -- including pairing your phone to your car -- could be automatically locked until the vehicle is stationary.

However, there is an interesting provision described within the patent. If you provide "visual input" -- such as a photo -- of driver and passenger, then sensors will detect who is using the device while a car is in motion and lock or unlock features based on who is behind the wheel.

Tech firms and automakers are trying to strike a balance between safety and modern technology in modern and future vehicles. It is unlikely that Apple will integrate such features into CarPlay early on, but their patent filing makes clear that driver distraction is a problem they're taking seriously.

Read on: Apple Insider

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Image credit: Apple

— By on April 23, 2014, 12:00 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure