Inside iOS 11: Apple's 'Do Not Disturb While Driving' keeps you safe on the road

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2017
Apple debuted a new safety feature in iOS 11 with "Do Not Disturb While Driving." AppleInsider corralled a co-pilot to test it out -- here's how it works.




Editor's note: This article was originally published in June following the beta release of iOS 11. It has been updated and republished for the public launch of iOS 11.

"It's all about keeping your eyes on the road," Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi said at WWDC when announcing the feature. "When you're driving, you don't need to respond to these kind of messages. In fact, you don't need to see them."





When the feature is active, and the iPhone is aware that you're in a car by connecting to a vehicle's USB connection or Bluetooth, it will actuate the feature automatically. When enabled, messages sent won't be displayed to the driver, and the phone can automatically notify people that you're on the road.
Any restriction disallowing use of a feature of the device, and ultimately, the proper use of the tool in the first place, is solely up to the operator.
Apple notes that even if not connected to a car, it can detect that the car is moving, and enable the feature accordingly. Regardless, CarPlay functionality stays live. Navigation and music playback still work.

The feature obeys parameters that users apply to regular "Do Not Disturb" mode. Users on the "favorite" contacts list can still break through. Parents concerned about a child disabling the feature can prevent changes to the setting in the Restrictions menu.

Also, passengers have the ability to dismiss the warning by tapping the "I'm not driving" button that pops up when the warning comes up.

Head out on the highway

The best way to enable the feature is to move the toggle to the Control Center in the Settings menu. To turn on the feature, invoke the Control Center, and tap on the button.




When the feature is enabled, the button will "illuminate." Restrictions kick in when CarPlay is connected, or the phone senses that it is moving, and you're supposed to get a notification that the feature is working.




Jokes about Washington D.C. traffic not allowing any real speed notwithstanding, AppleInsider testing did see the restrictions kick in at about 13 miles per hour when not connected to a CarPlay system.


Why now?

Apple, and other cell phone vendors, have come under fire for causing accidents because of induced distracted driving. Notably, a lawsuit in December filed against Apple accused the company of "failure to install and implement" a lock-out of FaceTime while a car is in motion, leading to a fatal crash in Texas. Apple generally wins the lawsuits, but it would be better if the accidents didn't have to happen in the first place.

"Do Not Disturb When Driving" is that lockout -- but it is not a total shutdown. Any contact can use the word "Urgent" to break through the order, and any favorite contact will get sent through anyhow. Plus, the feature has to be turned by the user or a device management authority in the first place.

Any restriction disallowing use of a feature of the device, and ultimately, the proper use of the tool in the first place, is solely up to the operator.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    looplessloopless Posts: 102member
    Related to this...

    Can someone explain to me why when I ask Siri in iOS 10 while I am driving ( I do not have car play)
    "Hey Siri, give me directions to home"
    And Siri says " I cant help you while you are driving"?
    Why cant 'she' start voice directions?
    maciekskontaktanton zuykov
  • Reply 2 of 27
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,755member
    loopless said:
    Related to this...

    Can someone explain to me why when I ask Siri in iOS 10 while I am driving ( I do not have car play)
    "Hey Siri, give me directions to home"
    And Siri says " I cant help you while you are driving"?
    Why cant 'she' start voice directions?
    Have you tried simply "navigate home"? I know it's sometimes a pain (maybe not even worth the trouble in some cases) but rewording a request sometimes gives the results you wanted. The assistants at this point are far from intelligent. 
  • Reply 3 of 27
    tdknoxtdknox Posts: 64member
    loopless said:
    Related to this...

    Can someone explain to me why when I ask Siri in iOS 10 while I am driving ( I do not have car play)
    "Hey Siri, give me directions to home"
    And Siri says " I cant help you while you are driving"?
    Why cant 'she' start voice directions?
    "Hey Siri, take me home" has always worked for me.
    peterhartanton zuykovcornchip
  • Reply 4 of 27
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,899member
    For ages, I have been asking Siri "How long will it take me to get to work?" when I get near a spot where I would need to make a decision to take an alternate route She would respond something like "Traffic is heavy today, so it should take about 52 minutes." Lately, however, for this question alone, it makes me unlock the phone. If I make any other Siri request, I don't need to unlock first. Very strange.
  • Reply 5 of 27
    axcess99axcess99 Posts: 36member
    but "show me the way to go home" does not work last I tried :-(
  • Reply 6 of 27
    Hey Siri, I am riding on a bus... Let me put all 10 fingers on your face. Are you convinced yet?
    king editor the gratecgWerks
  • Reply 7 of 27
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,039member
    Waze is better anyway.  More accurate, better route decisions based on traffic, and uses crowd sourcing to warn of cops and road hazards.  

    As for this feature, I think it's a good balance of helping with safety and not annoying the piss out of users.  
    cyberzombie
  • Reply 8 of 27
    looplessloopless Posts: 102member
    gatorguy said:
    loopless said:
    Related to this...

    Can someone explain to me why when I ask Siri in iOS 10 while I am driving ( I do not have car play)
    "Hey Siri, give me directions to home"
    And Siri says " I cant help you while you are driving"?
    Why cant 'she' start voice directions?
    Have you tried simply "navigate home"? I know it's sometimes a pain (maybe not even worth the trouble in some cases) but rewording a request sometimes gives the results you wanted. The assistants at this point are far from intelligent. 
    OK, I'll try that. I just remember in iOS 9, asking for driving directions to anywhere worked fine while driving - I just don't get why they would block 'asking for directions' in iOS 10 "for safety".
    cgWerks
  • Reply 9 of 27
    tdknoxtdknox Posts: 64member
    axcess99 said:
    but "show me the way to go home" does not work last I tried :-(
    I'm tired, and I want to go to bed?
    [Deleted User]cyberzombieanton zuykov
  • Reply 10 of 27
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 140member
    Can I still use Apple Maps and Music in this mode?  No CarPlay in my 4 yo car. If I can't do maps and music, this is pretty worthless. 

    Edit: quoting "Regardless, CarPlay functionality stays live. Navigation and music playback still work."

    I'm not sure how to read that. Do maps and music still work without CarPlay?
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 11 of 27
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,644administrator
    jdb8167 said:
    Can I still use Apple Maps and Music in this mode?  No CarPlay in my 4 yo car. If I can't do maps and music, this is pretty worthless. 

    Edit: quoting "Regardless, CarPlay functionality stays live. Navigation and music playback still work."

    I'm not sure how to read that. Do maps and music still work without CarPlay?
    Yes. You just don't get Notifications of texts, emails, and whatnot.
  • Reply 12 of 27
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 140member
    jdb8167 said:
    Can I still use Apple Maps and Music in this mode?  No CarPlay in my 4 yo car. If I can't do maps and music, this is pretty worthless. 

    Edit: quoting "Regardless, CarPlay functionality stays live. Navigation and music playback still work."

    I'm not sure how to read that. Do maps and music still work without CarPlay?
    Yes. You just don't get Notifications of texts, emails, and whatnot.
    Thanks. Sounds like a good feature then. 
  • Reply 13 of 27
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    jdb8167 said:
    jdb8167 said:
    Can I still use Apple Maps and Music in this mode?  No CarPlay in my 4 yo car. If I can't do maps and music, this is pretty worthless. 

    Edit: quoting "Regardless, CarPlay functionality stays live. Navigation and music playback still work."

    I'm not sure how to read that. Do maps and music still work without CarPlay?
    Yes. You just don't get Notifications of texts, emails, and whatnot.
    Thanks. Sounds like a good feature then. 
    It's okay. Trouble is that one can still pick up the phone voluntarily and use it. And many teens and young adults do exactly that. 
    cgWerks
  • Reply 14 of 27
    I've come to enjoy this feature in Beat. Never realized how often I picked up my phone in the car and this is breaking me from a very bad habit.

    Sometimes a little feedback goes a long way.

    Only problem I'm experiencing is that when using Strava on Watch vs from phone, the phone will cut off my watch, therefore my distance is not being recording when bike riding. Hope I can find a bypass.
    stompy
  • Reply 15 of 27
    I'm finding an odd thing about IOS11. It seems that I can't access Siri using my car's hands-free button when my cover is closed. I use an iPad in my car for directions because it is better than the built-in gps. Works fine if I open the cover. Worked OK in IOS10, so something changed. Bluetooth stays connected, just that Siri won't respond.
  • Reply 16 of 27
    gatorguy said:
    loopless said:
    Related to this...

    Can someone explain to me why when I ask Siri in iOS 10 while I am driving ( I do not have car play)
    "Hey Siri, give me directions to home"
    And Siri says " I cant help you while you are driving"?
    Why cant 'she' start voice directions?
    Have you tried simply "navigate home"? I know it's sometimes a pain (maybe not even worth the trouble in some cases) but rewording a request sometimes gives the results you wanted. The assistants at this point are far from intelligent. 

    this is the fundamental failure of the voice assistances, they all have their own quirks about how you have to give it command. This becomes and issue in your home and them control you lights. it requires you to remember how you set up each room image when someone comes to visit and they do not know your commands 
  • Reply 17 of 27
    This was a featured I had on my Motorola Atrix back in 2009 it only took apple 8 yrs to figure this out. I used this feature on my Atrix all the time, it was nice feature since it let people know you were driving and they usually stop send you texts since they did not want to bother you.
  • Reply 18 of 27
    sdw2001 said:
    Waze is better anyway.  More accurate, better route decisions based on traffic, and uses crowd sourcing to warn of cops and road hazards.  

    As for this feature, I think it's a good balance of helping with safety and not annoying the piss out of users.  
    In my quick test last night, it seemed as though Waze did not work with it. Hopefully in time, that will be worked out. I too prefer Waze to Apple Maps. 
  • Reply 19 of 27
    Ask for aditional operations while acctually solves problem. Right... Also I cann see all passengerrs giving testimony to their iPhones and aswering some questions they do not need to see.

    The reason we have speakephones and voice assisted functions is to avoid using hands, but still be able to use device. If you create buttons to click it is dumb idea in this case so try to design more with voice question and answer instead of button as additional option.

    Next time we will see some interrogation features like: "Have you been drinking alcohol?", "Do you have DWI?", "Are you sure you said it is OK to unlock your iPhone?" "How old are you?" "What is your mother maiden name?" and more dumb protections like that.

    And yes try to integrate this with my gas and brake pedal and I guarentee I will throw it away through window (I am performance driving instructor and safety steward with really a bit higher level of driving skill and safety than average Joe Wannabe - there is many more like myself and we do not this type of assistance knowing more dangers and having leg-brain-hands reactions and decisions a bit faster than Tesla on many occasions).
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 20 of 27
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,242member
    For the record, I think putting more touch-screens in cars as controls is actually somewhat dangerous too. It's not a good trend! So, IMO, CarPlay isn't really a good solution, though better than directly fiddling with the phone, I suppose.
    loopless said:
    Related to this...

    Can someone explain to me why when I ask Siri in iOS 10 while I am driving ( I do not have car play)
    "Hey Siri, give me directions to home"
    And Siri says " I cant help you while you are driving"?
    Why cant 'she' start voice directions?
    You have to use the right code words... Siri is a bit to stupid to understand that.

    loopless said:
    OK, I'll try that. I just remember in iOS 9, asking for driving directions to anywhere worked fine while driving - I just don't get why they would block 'asking for directions' in iOS 10 "for safety".
    To push CarPlay?

    It's a very good question though, as I was quite shocked when I got my first iPhone and discovered you couldn't even do simple hands-free things like make a call, or tell it to hang up, or properly route audio (i.e.: speakers, speaker-phone, etc.)

    maestro64 said:
    this is the fundamental failure of the voice assistances, they all have their own quirks about how you have to give it command. This becomes and issue in your home and them control you lights. it requires you to remember how you set up each room image when someone comes to visit and they do not know your commands 
    Ahh, the joys of AI. (or better, FI 'faked intelligence' :)
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