US phones to lock out drivers

By | November 23, 2016

Too many people are still using apps while driving.

Phone manufacturers are always looking for new features to build into their devices. According to a report from the New York Times, the federal government has a suggestion: a "driver mode" that prevents the phone from being a distraction.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put forward on Wednesday a set of voluntary guidelines for phone makers that would limit the use of certain apps on the device while behind the wheel. The guidelines would still allow for limited functionality but would place a lock on apps and services that serve primarily as distractions.

… Driver mode wouldn't go as far as airplane mode in its limitations, as communications don't need to be shut off as a whole. But it would lock the driver out of social media apps like Twitter and Facebook, and would make video and distracting images unavailable to view. Access to the keyboard for texting or email would also be restricted. Drivers would be given a simplified interface with limited actions.

Under the guidelines, drivers would be able to regain some of these features by connecting to the a car's built-in electronics systems for navigation or entertainment such as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. This would permit users to still interact with the device by using buttons on the steering wheel or dashboard display.

NHTSA suggested that phone manufacturers include the driver mode, as well as developing technology that would be able to discern if the person is a driver or passenger.


That last part sounds a bit tricky.

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