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Apple Tries To Steer People Away From Texting While Driving

Eric Parra |
April 22, 2014 | 8:34 p.m. PDT

Tech Editor

You've done it, haven't you? The popular activity of texting during any situation has yet to die down (blogspot/creativecommons)
You've done it, haven't you? The popular activity of texting during any situation has yet to die down (blogspot/creativecommons)
How many times have you been pulled over for texting while driving? Fortunately, Apple’s got your back.

It’s hard to imagine, but despite the legal problems or the multitasking difficulties, there are still plenty of iPhone users who just can’t let go of their device even when they should be occupied by the road. There’s already been a few other apps designed to stop the text-while-driving craze but Apple is taking it a step further.

On Tuesday, April 22, the company published a patent called the “Driver handheld computing device-lock-out.”

From CNET:

“In one scenario, Apple's technology would work on its own by detecting the motion of the driver and/or analyzing the surrounding scenery. The motion detector would use the phone's onboard sensors to tell if the car is moving beyond a certain speed. The scenery analyzer would use the phone's camera to determine if the phone is being held by the driver.”

Of course, depending on the technology, this could lead to problems with how sensitive the lock-out mechanism is. Once a red flag goes up on the device it will automatically lock you out of texting and several other features, but could the same happen if you were running/jumping/etc.? Would it apply even if you’re not driving, or if a passenger is holding on to your phone to look for directions?

A second scenario relies on the car itself. The ignition key would send a signal to your phone to disable any distracting features. The same problems still apply, but just to work, this would require a newly modeled car and the involvement of automakers.

Since it’s still just a patent, there’s no evidence that any real work has been done on the technology, but it could be something we all get used to very soon. And maybe then you’ll stop getting pulled over for breaking the law.

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