Apple iPhone’s Driver Lockout
Despite a ban 10 years ago on mobile phone use while driving, studies have shown that half of motorists on todays roads still use a phone whilst in control of a vehicle, to make or receive calls.
The road charity Brake and Direct Line have also published the results of a survey they conducted, and found that 3 in 10 drivers also send or read texts and 1 in 8 use apps while driving.
So, if so many people are still using their phones while driving does it mean there is a problem with the law? In my opinion, definitely not. If I witness mobile phone use when someone is behind the wheel of a car, I seem to get an incredible – bring back hangings –kind of rage towards the individuals. I always thought this could be down to the industry I work in and that I was a little more opinionated on the topic than most, but a recent study from KwikFit has found that using a mobile phone is the most hated driving habit. So it looks like I’m not alone.
The US Patent office published information they received back in 2008 from Apple. This patent was for a ‘Driver handheld computing device lock-out’ – You can read the Apple patent here
Apple’s idea was to effectively ‘lock out’ their device when someone was driving, therefore disabling their ability to text, call etc.
The tech would work by the phone detecting whether the user was going past a certain speed and by analysing the surroundings through the camera. It could also detect signals from an ignition key.
All of this sounds very promising but there are a few flaws; for example if a passenger was using your phone while you were driving, then this is entirely legal and safe, but it would be cut off. The only way I could see this being overcome would be to have a manual override, but that would defeat the point. There are already apps out there doing a similar thing.
Also, if you had an older car with no gizmos inside then this would clearly not work.
Overall I feel this is a good step forward but there is no evidence any real work has been put into this at present, the patent was made many years ago, and has yet to be implemented into a device.