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Apple tech takes on distracted driving, blocks users from texting while behind the wheel

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 
A new piece of technology unearthed on Tuesday shows Apple has developed iPhone technology that automatically shuts off texting capabilities when it is determined that a user is driving, helping to mitigate potential accidents resulting from in-car distractions.

Volvo


With Apple's automotive projects -- Car Play and Siri Eyes Free -- rolling out in more vehicles throughout the year, the company has been beefing up its in-car technology suite. A document discovered on Tuesday, however, shows Apple's "iOS in the car" initiatives go back much further than iOS 7.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued Apple U.S. Patent No. 8,706,143 for "Driver handheld computing device lock-out," a system that intelligently determines whether a device user is driving and shuts off distracting phone functions accordingly.

There are two main embodiments to Apple's invention. The first concentrates on a lock-out mechanism that requires no input from a vehicle and instead uses on-board sensors to determine when a user is driving. In the second embodiment, the car is able to transmit blocking signals to an iPhone, effectively stopping a user from receiving and sending texts, or using other smartphone functions while in the driver's seat.


Source: USPTO


Without input from the car, an iPhone relies on data from a motion analyzer and a scenery analyzer to trigger a lock-out mechanism. As described, accelerometers, cameras, light sensors, GPS receivers and other sensing components can be deployed to harness raw data.

The motion analyzer monitors device speed up to a certain threshold that, when reached, is indicative of a car in motion. Making the system more accurate is data from an iPhone's GPS and accelerometer, which can be used to discern whether a user is walking, running or in a moving motor vehicle.

The scenery analyzer is more complicated in that some embodiments require image acquisition and processing to determine when a device holder is in a "safe" or "unsafe" operating area. For example, the analyzer algorithm may find that a user is in the driver's seat by analyzing a photo or video that shows one face and a steering wheel.

Alternatively, if the analyzer sees two faces, one in the driver's seat and another in the passenger or rear seat, the device may be classified as in a "safe area." Further, an accelerometer can be used to ensure the person holding the device does not pan away from the driving cockpit to avoid analysis.

Once recognition and analysis are complete, the lock-out mechanism may be activated according to preset rules. For example, texting may be blocked when a device holder is found to be driving.



The second embodiment is fairly straightforward, with the car in communication with the iPhone via RFID or active radio signals. In this case, onboard sensors, a wireless ignition key or other proximity-sensing devices can communicate a blocking signal to the nearby phone, disabling texting and other distracting features.

Another notable function of Apple's invention is a parental lock-out function that disables user-selectable smartphone features associated with a specific key or phone.

It is unclear if Apple intends to incorporate the lock-out functionality in a future iOS version, though no mention of the feature was made in CarPlay's introduction. As noted in the patent document, however, such a mechanism would be "a significant selling point in the eyes of concerned parents, and it could lead to legislation that would require all handheld computing devices to disable texting while driving."

Apple's handheld device lock-out patent was first filed for in 2008 and credits John Greer Elias as its inventor.
post #2 of 72
That we need technology to safeguard us from stupid behaviour is sad. That the technology might come is good news.
post #3 of 72

I am glad Apple is introducing this now. Maybe less deaths will not happen with this new technology they are producing.Texting and driving is a slow suicide for both driver and pedestrian.

post #4 of 72
Tape over the camera will defeat this dumb idea.

Let Darwinism take it's natural course (other drivers notwithstanding).
post #5 of 72
"Tape over the camera will defeat this dumb idea."

Let's see ... you get in your car ...
Doors locked - check.
Seat belt fastened - check.
Engine start - check.
Clear to move - check.
Peel of some tape from the dash mounted dispenser, place over camera lens - check.

Think much?
post #6 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Snarky Hipster View Post

"Tape over the camera will defeat this dumb idea."

Let's see ... you get in your car ...
Doors locked - check.
Seat belt fastened - check.
Engine start - check.
Clear to move - check.
Peel of some tape from the dash mounted dispenser, place over camera lens - check.

Think much?

I'd just leave the tape on all the time. Wouldn't FaceTime while driving be "distracted driving"?

I never use the forward-facing camera, though the NSA probably does.
post #7 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaporland View Post

I'd just leave the tape on all the time. Wouldn't FaceTime while driving be "distracted driving"?

I never use the forward-facing camera, though the NSA probably does.

I'm pretty sure the NSA has better things to do than look at you all day.
post #8 of 72
How does this thing differentiate between driving a car vs. riding as a passenger?
post #9 of 72
So my pregnant wife, who is due to give birth any day, would not be able to send me a text because the phone has decided that I am driving and it would therefore be unsafe?

The day Apple implements this "feature" is the day I get rid of my iPhone.
post #10 of 72

How many accidents will be caused by people trying to figure out what the goram phone won't send a text?

Or stop on the side of the highway to send/receive? What if your car rolls over and you are trying to call 911 while pinned by the crushed dashboard between the steering wheel and driver's seat?

Since when did Apple deploy (not just invent and discard) technology that made it more difficult to use their products while being so easily defeated that it is simply a waste of resources? 

What if you have an elaborate setup in your basement for your driving games? 

If the driving force here is tapping otherwise unspent processing power - why not use it to create a defensive driving subsystem where each phone sends out data regrading position and vector that others can use to determine if they are on a collision course or not and alert the user appropriately? 

Or a crash detector - where after the accelerometers etc determine that you have been in a crash, Siri asks you if you would like her to call 911 and if you do not respond with a clear NO then she auto dials 911 with your location and a message that there has been an accident. 

post #11 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Another Snarky Hipster View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaporland View Post

I'd just leave the tape on all the time. Wouldn't FaceTime while driving be "distracted driving"?

I never use the forward-facing camera, though the NSA probably does.

I'm pretty sure the NSA has better things to do than look at you all day.

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=hacking+cellphone+cameras 

 

{About 6,470,000 results (0.25 seconds)}

 

Given well known (and unknown) security flaws, I'm perfectly happy blocking a forward-facing camera that I never use...

post #12 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by TailsToo View Post

So my pregnant wife, who is due to give birth any day, would not be able to send me a text because the phone has decided that I am driving and it would therefore be unsafe?

The day Apple implements this "feature" is the day I get rid of my iPhone.

something tells me it's not as cut and dry as that. We shall see though.

post #13 of 72
This completely ridiculous and I will abandoned iPhone over it if this is forced upon me with no way of Disabling.

It's not that I need to text and drive. It's about control. Apple has no right to control such things. For that matter, human beings must stop accepting such bullahit. You so not need laws and restrictions to protect you from yourself...what you need is common sense. We need to advocate the spread of common sense and knowledge....not treat EVERYONE like idiots for the sake of a few.

This is absolute WRONG way to handle these issues and I will protest it til the end. If Apple ever forces this upon me, I will demand they remove it or take my iPhone back and refund my money, along with all the money I've spent getting into the iPhone ecosystem.
post #14 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

How many accidents will be caused by people trying to figure out what the goram phone won't send a text?
Or stop on the side of the highway to send/receive? What if your car rolls over and you are trying to call 911 while pinned by the crushed dashboard between the steering wheel and driver's seat?
Since when did Apple deploy (not just invent and discard) technology that made it more difficult to use their products while being so easily defeated that it is simply a waste of resources? 
What if you have an elaborate setup in your basement for your driving games? 
If the driving force here is tapping otherwise unspent processing power - why not use it to create a defensive driving subsystem where each phone sends out data regrading position and vector that others can use to determine if they are on a collision course or not and alert the user appropriately? 
Or a crash detector - where after the accelerometers etc determine that you have been in a crash, Siri asks you if you would like her to call 911 and if you do not respond with a clear NO then she auto dials 911 with your location and a message that there has been an accident. 

We don't need any of this. Some people just don't know when to stop.
post #15 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by TailsToo View Post

So my pregnant wife, who is due to give birth any day, would not be able to send me a text because the phone has decided that I am driving and it would therefore be unsafe?

The day Apple implements this "feature" is the day I get rid of my iPhone.

Who is more important? the big Dude that u just hit him with ur car or ur pregnant wife?

 

The Right answer is -THE BIG DUDE because he decides if you live or die

 

 

Reply

 

 

Reply
post #16 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvfox View Post
 

...Maybe less deaths will not happen...

 

That is a double negative...:lol:

post #17 of 72

I agree that far too many people are far too wrapped up in their phones instead of what is happening right in front of them. 

 

Both my cars are manual transmission because when I drive I want to be in active control of the process of what is happening as possible. When I operate a motor vehicle it is something I am engaged in doing not just something that happens. 

 

Maybe what we need is an app that determines when the user is a piss-poor driver and shuts their car down until they go back to driver's ed. 

post #18 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

...

Maybe what we need is an app that determines when the user is a piss-poor driver and shuts their car down until they go back to driver's ed. 

 

There would no one left on the road except ME!!

post #19 of 72

This capability already exists in my 2013 Toyota Tacoma. The hands-free dialing capability (connected to my iPhone) won't function as long as the truck is moving. Stop and it works. I can use the music features through the touch-screen stereo but it doesn't handle text. I need to check this but I also believe the stereo takes over the phone so I can't use the music feature or maybe even text while it's connected to the stereo. I can still receive phone calls.

 

Yes, this upsets me at times but all I have to do is wait for a stop light or pull over, something everyone should do anyway, along with stopping to put on makeup, shave, yell at your kids in the back seats, and even eat (as long as you only need one hand I think you should be able to eat and drive but drinking should require a lid).

post #20 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post
 

This capability already exists in my 2013 Toyota Tacoma. The hands-free dialing capability (connected to my iPhone) won't function as long as the truck is moving. Stop and it works. I can use the music features through the touch-screen stereo but it doesn't handle text. I need to check this but I also believe the stereo takes over the phone so I can't use the music feature or maybe even text while it's connected to the stereo. I can still receive phone calls.

 

Yes, this upsets me at times but all I have to do is wait for a stop light or pull over, something everyone should do anyway, along with stopping to put on makeup, shave, yell at your kids in the back seats, and even eat (as long as you only need one hand I think you should be able to eat and drive but drinking should require a lid).

 

My wife's 2013 CR-V will read text based text messages to you while driving - but won't show it on the screen unless the car is in park. 

 

That doesn't stop you from picking up the phone and looking / answering directly on the device. I haven't tried but I think the voice recognition texting would still work - so could get a text, have the car read it, the activate Siri to say "Send a Text to _____," and the message.

post #21 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by TailsToo View Post

So my pregnant wife, who is due to give birth any day, would not be able to send me a text because the phone has decided that I am driving and it would therefore be unsafe?

The day Apple implements this "feature" is the day I get rid of my iPhone.

The idea is that drivers should pull over and stop before texting. Your pregnant wife just might be smart enough to do that.

Daniel Swanson

Reply

Daniel Swanson

Reply
post #22 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaporland View Post
 

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=hacking+cellphone+cameras

 

{About 6,470,000 results (0.25 seconds)}

 

Given well known (and unknown) security flaws, I'm perfectly happy blocking a forward-facing camera that I never use...

But how do you take selfies?

post #23 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post
 

The idea is that drivers should pull over and stop before texting. Your pregnant wife just might be smart enough to do that. Idiot.

 

I believe he was suggesting that he would not be able to receive the text from his pregnant wife while HE is driving - resulting in a significant and possibly life threatening delay in his ability to respond to her and or either get to her or get help to her. 

post #24 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post

The idea is that drivers should pull over and stop before texting. Your pregnant wife just might be smart enough to do that. Idiot.

And if as written the phone blocks texts and doesn't tell me that one was sent? How would I know?

How about a doctor? Should they be I reachable because Apple decides when you can get messages?

Before you start running your mouth, how about you read what was written? It makes you look like an idiot.
post #25 of 72
Originally Posted by TailsToo View Post
The day Apple implements this "feature" is the day I get rid of my iPhone.

 

Shame your kid has to grow up with parents this foolish.

 

Originally Posted by TailsToo View Post
And if as written the phone blocks texts and doesn't tell me that one was sent? How would I know?

 

There’s this little thing called CALLING A PERSON ON THE PHONE. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? I dunno, it’s sort of a new concept, invented in 1880 and all.

 
Before you start running your mouth, how about you read what was written? It makes you look like an idiot.

 

Yes, the people saying “how about you just call each other” are idiots and the person who can’t figure out that texting isn’t the only means of communication… isn’t. :lol:

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #26 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvfox View Post

I am glad Apple is introducing this now. Maybe fewer deaths will not happen with this new technology they are producing.Texting and driving is a slow suicide for both driver and pedestrian.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
post #27 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by TailsToo View Post

So my pregnant wife, who is due to give birth any day, would not be able to send me a text because the phone has decided that I am driving and it would therefore be unsafe?

The day Apple implements this "feature" is the day I get rid of my iPhone.

Just use Siri.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
post #28 of 72

You can have Siri recite back text messages, etc. today.

 

This proposed patent doesn't prevent incoming messages; it prevents the driver from accessing touch-based controls because he/she is driving. Voice controls are still fine.

post #29 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaporland View Post

Tape over the camera will defeat this dumb idea.

Let Darwinism take it's natural course (other drivers notwithstanding).


Is that the same black electrical tape that cab drivers use to cover the 'check engine' light on their Caprice Classics?  Ok.   The cabbies are ready!

post #30 of 72
I am only in favor of this if it can be easily disabled. Moreover, all texting and driving is not created equal. If someone shoots me a yes or no question while I'm on an open highway with no traffic on a bright, sunny day, I can safely respond with a quick "y" or "n" or whatnot. It's no different than using Siri, checking the GPS location on Maps, changing songs or launching the Podcast app. Is that going to be disabled too? I've never been favor of such technology.
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
post #31 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Shame your kid has to grow up with parents this foolish.

 

 

There’s this little thing called CALLING A PERSON ON THE PHONE. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? I dunno, it’s sort of a new concept, invented in 1880 and all.

 

Yes, the people saying “how about you just call each other” are idiots and the person who can’t figure out that texting isn’t the only means of communication… isn’t. :lol:

 

Good luck with that - especially if that person is busy. 

 

I will use text messaging as a means of communicating low priority information or when a few words are all that is needed versus an entire conversation. For example, when I left a job site the other day, I sent a text to the wife simply letter her know that "I am on my way home now" and when I arrived at home the unread message was still on her phone which she hadn't plugged in and didn't know where it was. 

 

Calling on the phone is often subject to the vagaries of the cell service and one or both parties may be in a position where a synchronous nature of a voice call is not appropriate or necessary while the asynchronous nature of text messaging allows each party to determine when and how best to reply. 

post #32 of 72
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

Good luck with that - especially if that person is busy. 

 

I wonder what would be easier to do while in labor: screaming to your phone to call your husband and then screaming to him across the airwaves… or calmly using a keyboard to type out a text.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #33 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I am only in favor of this if it can be easily disabled. Moreover, all texting and driving is not created equal. If someone shoots me a yes or no question while I'm on an open highway with no traffic on a bright, sunny day, I can safely respond with a quick "y" or "n" or whatnot. It's no different than using Siri, checking the GPS location on Maps, changing songs or launching the Podcast app. Is that going to be disabled too? I've never been favor of such technology.

I'm not in favour of you behind a steering wheel.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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post #34 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

 I'm on an open highway with no traffic on a bright, sunny day, I can safely respond with a quick "y" or "n" or whatnot. 

People before they died in car accident said the exact the same thing

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

It's no different than using Siri, checking the GPS location on Maps, changing songs or launching the Podcast app. Is that going to be disabled too? I've never been favor of such technology.

Yes it's a huge difference, my advice when your driving dont use touch controls let Siri do it for you 

 

 

Reply

 

 

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post #35 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

This completely ridiculous and I will abandoned iPhone over it if this is forced upon me with no way of Disabling.

It's not that I need to text and drive. It's about control. Apple has no right to control such things. For that matter, human beings must stop accepting such bullahit. You so not need laws and restrictions to protect you from yourself...what you need is common sense. We need to advocate the spread of common sense and knowledge....not treat EVERYONE like idiots for the sake of a few.

This is absolute WRONG way to handle these issues and I will protest it til the end. If Apple ever forces this upon me, I will demand they remove it or take my iPhone back and refund my money, along with all the money I've spent getting into the iPhone ecosystem.

I’ll be only too pleased for you to abandon the iPhone; the sooner, the better.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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post #36 of 72

I think the comments to this are funny.  Also short sighted.  You can send eyes free texts via SIRI whether you are a driver or a passenger.  There is a lot of potential for this technology and we should support it.  You can still make hands free calls as well so not sure what the problem is.  The government will support this feature so might as well get used to it.

 

Give me a valid argument as I have not seen one good one in this thread.

post #37 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

This completely ridiculous and I will abandoned iPhone over it if this is forced upon me with no way of Disabling.

It's not that I need to text and drive. It's about control. Apple has no right to control such things. For that matter, human beings must stop accepting such bullahit. You so not need laws and restrictions to protect you from yourself...what you need is common sense. We need to advocate the spread of common sense and knowledge....not treat EVERYONE like idiots for the sake of a few.

This is absolute WRONG way to handle these issues and I will protest it til the end. If Apple ever forces this upon me, I will demand they remove it or take my iPhone back and refund my money, along with all the money I've spent getting into the iPhone ecosystem.

While I agree with your general premise in many aspects of life (drug use for instance) I do not agree when it comes to operating a motor vehicle as that isn't to protect you from you but rather to protect "us" from "you"

 

And even that's a slippery slope argument as where does that end...

 

Damn nuances keep greying up my black and white.

post #38 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechProd1gy View Post
 

I think the comments to this are funny.  Also short sighted.  You can send eyes free texts via SIRI whether you are a driver or a passenger.  There is a lot of potential for this technology and we should support it.  You can still make hands free calls as well so not sure what the problem is.  The government will support this feature so might as well get used to it.

 

Give me a valid argument as I have not seen one good one in this thread.

The only valid argument is a measure of control. It is already illegal to text and drive...no need to let some third party restrict you from texting and driving.

 

Imagine if all cars had breathalyzers installed by default...

post #39 of 72

If this really gets implemented, which I think it won't because there's too much inference to handle, then people who would have texted will just use an app instead.

post #40 of 72
A car came with two feet of hitting me as I crossed the street walking last week. Guess what, the driver was texting... maybe to his pregnant wife.

Sunday evening, I was run off the road by... guess what... some numnutz texting.

If you don't believe this is a serious problem with all the senseless deaths that have been caused, then you are an idiot. If somebody needs to contact you, they can ring the phone and you can answer on bluetooth... either OEM on your car or a visor mount. There is zero reason to be texting while driving. Zero.
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