Apple patents system to ‘lock-out’ texting drivers

Posted on April 25, 2014


Apple has revealed to news suppliers that it has patented a system that provides a mechanism to ‘lock-out’ drivers who attempt to text, or use any other distracting features, while on the move.

The patent outlines how devices can determine whether or not someone is using their smartphone while driving by looking at GPS data, phone towers and even images from the phone’s camera. It would also be able to distinguish whether the user is the driver or a passenger, with the mechanism only placing its limits on drivers.

The technology firm has said that it would use algorithms to search for a steering wheel that may be in close proximity, and detect the number of faces within view of the camera. It can also differentiate between the interiors of cars and other vehicles, including buses and trains.

According to the company, the application for the patent was originally filed in 2008, but was only granted and published this week. The firm also sees this system as a “significant” selling point for those concerned about texting and driving.

Figures revealed that 30% of motorists admit to using their smartphones while driving, either when a car is moving or when it is stationary at traffic lights – both of which are illegal, as use of a mobile phone can slow the reaction times of drivers by 35%.

Attempts at blocking the use of mobiles whilst driving have been made in the past, with several Android apps available for download. However, due to certain restrictions, no apps are currently available for Apple devices.

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