Posting in Technology
The new technology first determines whether the phone user is the driver or a passenger, and then disables (the driver's) distraction-causing phone features.
We know that texting and driving is bad. Lawmakers have made it illegal. Software platforms like Ford's MyTouch try to make it easier to have hands-free conversations and leave our cell phones alone. Cell phone operators like Sprint and T-Mobile have developed apps that limit our ability to use our phones behind the wheel, but these technologies often affect passengers - both in cars and using public transportation - rather than drivers. Yet despite these efforts, more than one-third of U.S. drivers still admit to texting behind the wheel.
So researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology and Rutgers University have developed technology that can tell if the phone user is behind the wheel, and disable the relevant distracting features on his or her phone. They use both the car's Bluetooth technology and its audio speakers to measure whether the phone is being used by the driver or a passenger.
Using this technology, the car's stereo emits high-frequency signals and determines the phone's distance from the speakers and the car's center. With 95 percent accuracy, the system can establish whether the user is a driver or a passenger, and then determine whether or not the phone's functions should be disabled.
The new technology is not flawless: it only works if the car has Bluetooth technology, if the driver's phone is hooked up to said Bluetooth system, if all the car's speakers are in working order, and its effectiveness drops if the phone is, say, lying on an empty passenger seat or inside a heavy coat.
But even with limited accuracy, it still seems far better than the current GPS-based alternative, and if my car simply will not allow me to text and drive, maybe I'll just let my co-pilot send my messages for me.
Photo: Flickr/Jason Weaver
Dec 5, 2011
I have written law makers, technology exist, low frequency as low as 3 foot and can be adjusted to a max of 10 feet. Cell jammers. However federal law prohibits it. I also seen ones that activate only when the ignition is on or the car is in drive. Yes even 911 an be dialed out. However law makers and the military will never allow its use. SO we need to go with the next best thing. Apps or downloads. I have one coming out that only jams if you plug it into the system and download. then it only sends auto responses alerting whomever that the driver is driving and will respond when its safe to do so . Or they put the car in park. The passengers phones still work unless of course it was pug in and activated at some point. So a passengers phone will work. It will be out very soon.
I was very worried about my teenagers' texting and driving so I downloaded MMGuardian Parental Control onto their phones from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mmguardian&hl=en. It locks their phone when they try to send a text while driving so I know they are safe and I wanted to tell everyone so they can give it a try!
If texting and driving is banned with the fines being expensive and multiple tickets resulted in a driver license suspension similar to driving without insurance, that requires an sr22 filing http://www.sr-22.info there were be no need to have electronic gadgets to block it. Divers will learn to pull over. Instead of blocking texting, it would seem, companies should find better and easier ways to make phones and devices able recognize voice and convert it to text.
We know someone who works for iDome (http://www.idome.net) and they offered to integrate their patented no texting while driving technology to every evehicle mfr for less than $50 per vehicle, Guess how many vehcile mfrs were interested? Not one so far. The vehicle mfrs simply make too much money building distracting technology into the vehicles. With idome, the driver can push a button on the infotainment system of a vehicle and shut off texting on the drivers phone- no hardware and very little software integration needed. Better than the "Do Not Disturb" option Ford tried, but could never get to work. If the vehicle mfrs did not want to use the easier iDome technology, there is no way they'll integrate this more complicated version until someone finds a way to sue them for negligence.
Seems to me this will work better to deter this stupid behavior behind the wheel. Yes, some damage will occur before it sinks in, but eventually most people will get it. Texting is not the only problem. Smart phones have all kinds of distracting features. Even dialing a regular phone takes your eyes off of the road. We survived just fine when we had to pull up to a phone booth to make a call.
Yes, please, keep me from texting and driving. Because I can't control my behavior myself. What's that, you say? This is to prevent those "other" people from distracted driving? But I decide what kind of car I buy, so I decide if I am going to pay for technology to make sure I don't misbehave. If I'm responsible I don't need it, and if I'm irresponsible I won't buy it. So, unless you mandate it, I can't see that it will make a lick of difference. I guess the patent holder on the technology is lobbying for just such a mandate.
Defensive driving is a survival technique. With all those suicidal half brained drivers with verbal diarrhea out there driving leathal machines.The pleasure of driving has almost disappeared . Those who pride themselves on mulitasking should realize that driving is already an extreme mutitasking operation. Enough is ehough !!! Don't text. Don't speak on the phone while driving. YOU KNOW WHY !
"Sonoma State University student Kaitlyn Dunaway, who was texting behind the wheel of her car when she struck and killed a 2-year-old girl and seriously injured the girl's mother, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter Thursday with the understanding she would receive probation, rather than jail time." Although there was some question in this particular case whether the mother was partly to blame (perhaps by stepping off the sidewalk too soon) , the central issue is that THIS WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED IF THE STUDENT WASN'T TEXTING. ANY technology that limits this is a good thing.
It seems to me that a simple unit placed in the seat belt where it clicks and installed at the factory or after market would work nicely. Remember folks this is my idea so I should make a few bucks from it, he he.
Any technology that will prevent the practice of texting while driving is desirable. Still, the message needs to be made that texting while driving is illegal and dangerous ............. immediate suspension of the driver's permit and having the vehicle towed would be a start. Harsh? .... explain that to the victim of a fatal crash caused by this kind of behaviour.
People are much more likely to have a bluetooth earpiece than to have a car with bluetooth so this isn't going to work. As for texting, older generations aren't going to do it and the younger ones will use voice-to-text apps without having to touch the actual phone and staying within the hands free category that is legal while driving.
This would only prompt the insistent user to text with his/her arm extended over the passenger seat, making matters worse. Many, if not most people who text are young and do not drive the new cars with this technology. It would make more sense to install a device to disable mobile phone use via a short-range signal blocker such that phone will not work while the wheels are engaged. There isn't any good reason anyone must text or talk on the mobile phone while the vehicle is in motion. There are enough distraction inside and outside the vehicle. How many deaths related to mobile phones in cars must we have before we realize that we shouldn't accommodate this technology. Paul
The central point is that while driving, not only is texting even more distracting that driving drunk, but so is using a cell phone with or without hands. So, it's OK to drive more distracted than someone who is legally drunk? People are in denial about the supposed safety level when they use a phone while driving.
Let's face it, people often have a NEED for using the phone while in the car, especially parents, business people, etc. The more responsible ones use handsfree headsets, voice commands, and the speech-to-text capabilities that come with most smartphones these days. Although I wish they'd make the speech-to-text apps use the headset mic when it's connected. Trying to speak loud enough for the phone mic to pick up on your words clearly is a pain sometimes.
Windows Phone 7 as well as iphones and Android phones do speech to text and back. Coupled with an inexpensive bluetooth unit ($50-$80), these new phones allow totaly handsfree operation of the phone for voice or text while driving.
Simply put, NO ONE has a "NEED" for using a phone in the car. Would you think it okay that an airline pilot was talking to his broker while piloting a plane or a gasoline tanker truck driver talking to his girlfriend at 70 MPH? Driving requires complete attention to ensure safety, and to think that we NEED to pick up the phone and divert our eyes and minds to a device in our hands is patently absurd.
If the weather's filthy, I don't want to be forced to get far enough away from my car to be allowed to call the breakdown services. Neither, if I'm parked up safely, do I want to have to clamber into the passenger seat in order to make a call. Where does all this interference end? Kids can be a major distraction in a car, let's ban them! I like that idea, cos then the Nazis won't have any excuse for trying to prevent me from smoking in my own damned property.