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Apple patent for the iPhone could end texting while driving

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Apple patent for the iPhone could end texting while driving
A patent received by Apple could end the deadly practice of driving while texting. The patent is titled "Driver handheld computing device lock-out" and covers lock-out mechanisms that prevent certain capabilities of a mobile phone, like texting, to be used when the phone's user is driving. The patent reveals the use of a motion analyzer to determine if a phone is in a moving vehicle, a scenery analyzer that allows the phone to know that it is in a car, and the actual lock-out mechanism that shuts off a phone's ability to send and receive text messages. An image from the patent shows how the technology would allow a phone to know where you are seated inside a car. The person sitting behind the wheel would be blocked from texting, while others in the car would have the full capabilities of their handset available to use.

Diagram reveals the area of the car that would be deemed unsafe

Diagram reveals the area of the car that would be deemed unsafe

Another way to get the phone's lock-out mechanism to block the sending or receiving of texts, would be to have the vehicle send a signal to the phone, or have the vehicle's key send a signal to the phone when it comes into contact with the auto. Texting while driving reduces the reaction time of drivers by 35%. Commercial drivers who are thumbing out a message while behind the wheel, are 23 more times likely to crash their vehicle. And the effects of driving while using a phone can last for up to 10 minutes after a call has ended.

Using a speaker on the phone, or a hands-free kit, is not the solution. Studies show that drivers using hands-free technology, have reaction times behind the wheel that are 30% slower than the reaction times achieved by those with a blood-alcohol level of 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood . That happens to be the legal limit in the region.

The U.S. is a lot more lenient about this issue than the U.K. In the latter, a driver can't whip out his phone to use in traffic, at a red light, or even while stuck in traffic. A driver who does this will get 3 penalty points assessed against his license, and a £100 fine ($168 USD). U.K. road safety charity Brake found that 30% of U.K. drivers admit to reading or sending a text while behind the wheel, with 44% of those between 18 and 24 admitting to doing the deed.

Using smartphone apps while behind the wheel is now a growing risk. One in eight admits to using an app while driving (12%), a jump from the 9% who admitted to it during the dark days of 2006.

"The driver who injured me was more concerned with her call than the lives of other people or even herself. I suffered awful injuries I'll have to live with for the rest of my life, but I'm thankful I'm still alive – it could have been even worse. If you drive and use a phone at the wheel, to chat, text or anything else, you can't be paying full attention, and in the blink of an eye it could lead to tragedy. I never use my phone when driving because I understand the consequences. I urge all drivers to commit to never using their phone at the wheel – turn it off or put it in the boot to avoid the temptation. It just isn't worth it: find a safe spot, pull-up and make your call then."-Lorna Foley

source: USPTO via TheGuardian

38 Comments
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posted on 24 Apr 2014, 04:55 7

1. sriuslywtf (Posts: 239; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)


Nice Apple! hopefully this is not a patent troll.. Please include this on your products..

And hopefully you do share this to other OEMs... Like VOLVO did on their seatbelts.

Show us that your more concern on our well being than our wallets...

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 05:12

3. sriuslywtf (Posts: 239; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)


Sorry...

*you're

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 10:37 4

22. chocowii (Posts: 327; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


Volvo did infact granted patent on their seatbelt. But Volvo made sure it was free to use for all. They filed it only for recognition and to avoid abuse from other manufacturers.
If only Apple would do the same, it would be nice.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 13:55 2

30. Finalflash (Posts: 1727; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


No dice son, Apple is the king of trolling these days, that is asking way too much.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 05:10 1

2. bubbadoes (Posts: 327; Member since: 03 May 2012)


I hope it passes. Will probably disable imessage only and not third party apps. Texters woll just revert to WhatsApp or something else or spend their time scrolling thru Facebook.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 05:35 4

4. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 401; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)


So if I am a mature adult who wouldnt text and drive I have to suffer because of some retarted people who cause accidents cause of it? And what if a text can save a life and I dont get it cause of this crap? Seriously educate the kids better since thats the root of this crap and dont just make all the other sensible people suffer.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 11:02 1

24. Augustine (Posts: 709; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


What if I told you that it's possible to dictate the text and not take the eyes off the road?

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 11:12

25. Sauce (unregistered)


You wouldn't suffer because you just said you would not text and drive, mature adult.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 05:42 1

5. Teja171 (unregistered)


Apple, how many patents do you own ? a million ?

Tomorrow, they could even patent their screws used in their devices.LOL

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 06:23 2

9. rantao333 (Posts: 230; Member since: 21 May 2013)


your point is invalid. far less than a million, 1775 patents as of 2013.

1) IBM 6,809
2) Samsung 4,675
3) Canon 3,825
4) Sony 3,098
5) Microsoft 2,660
6) Panasonic 2,601
7) Toshiba 2,416
8) Hon Hai 2,279
9) Qualcomm 2,103
10) LG Electronics 1,947

so, now argues with samsung's patens are more useful than apple.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 06:33

10. Teja171 (unregistered)


Chill dude.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 09:33

16. shuaibhere (Posts: 1428; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


Samsung patents useful things which are being used...
While apple patents slide to unlock, bumper effect kinda things...and if they patent any thing useful like this patent they never implement it...

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 10:17

20. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 966; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


do note that samsung is more then a phone manufacturer so more then half of these patents aren't phone related

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 14:01 1

31. Finalflash (Posts: 1727; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Well they both have multiple product lines, but Samsung is a behemoth compared to Apple. They are also into the business of researching, inventing and actually bringing to market useful things. Simply, it doesn't matter who has more patents, it matters what they use them for. Apple is largely a troll that makes a ridiculous amount of money and Samsung actually tries to help while making a ridiculous amount of money.

posted on 26 Apr 2014, 06:07

37. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 966; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


they make ships nuff said -_-

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 06:02 1

6. jeroome86 (Posts: 61; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)


What if passenger needs to text?

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 06:15 3

7. tech2 (Posts: 2040; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


Read the article. If you're too lazy to do that than atleast look at the picture.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 06:22

8. threed61 (Posts: 128; Member since: 27 May 2011)


Using hands free tech more dangerous than drunk driving, safety nazi BS! This sounds like a study that found drinking calorie free diet soda caused weight gain. And why should passengers also be forbade the use of their phones?

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 08:54

14. threed61 (Posts: 128; Member since: 27 May 2011)


My room mate just asked why I made such an ignorant post. Looks like a deleted my whole middle sentence trying to correct bad typing, but, too late to avoid looking dumb now.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 12:01

29. johnbftl (Posts: 191; Member since: 09 Jun 2012)


1) Being a Jew, I take offense to your misuse of the word Nazi to describe someone you do not agree with. Especially with Sunday night making the beginning of Yom Ha'Shoah (Holocaust Remembrance).

2) There have been multiple independent studies conducted which state the danger of using phone driving. Be it hands free or handheld. There have also been many medical studies not only on how diet sodas cause weight gain, but other medical problems it causes. Aspartame is a chemical compound that simulates sugar for flavoring purposes. The body then craves the sugars it is being tricked into believing it has gotten, and seeks then out in foods high in starches and carbohydrates. On top of that, aspartame is highly carcinogenic and triggers seizures in those prone to epilepsy.

Lastly if you read the article, it clearly states it would use positioning a vehicle determine if one were driving. Although AT&T developed software already that uses accelerometer to disable text once reaches a certain speed.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 14:11 1

32. threed61 (Posts: 128; Member since: 27 May 2011)


I read the article, the line I inadvertently deleted questioned the ability of this to work effectively, others in the thread have already pointed out the dangers of cell users trying to work around it. I also object to phones, cars or other devices blocking users or making my decisions for me.
Health and diet studies are discredited on a constant basis, just look at the "unhealthy" foods that are suddenly "healthy" again.
Too many safety studies are for the purpose of insurance companies to raise rates and deny claims, and control freaks to do their thing.
You're right, inappropriate use of that N word. As long as you raise the subject, I take offense at the inappropriate and excessive referencing of the Holocaust in the American conversation, it too often cheapens one humanity's worst events.
I applied better proofreading to this post than the previous.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 07:45 1

11. chocowii (Posts: 327; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


By the time this patent will be used, Google cars drive by itself. You have all the time to text and call.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 08:12 1

12. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6422; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Don't think this will prevent people to stop texting they can talk while driving

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 08:22 2

13. TechDork (Posts: 228; Member since: 10 May 2010)


..........if they can't text then they'll just call the person. Problem solved. Nice try though.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 08:54

15. Mrmark (Posts: 139; Member since: 26 Jan 2013)


I hope they don't sue people for stealing this patent. But if they do they just saved lives and take the companies money.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 09:47 1

17. D79_D79_ (Posts: 38; Member since: 19 Feb 2014)


The drive would text with there phone near the passenger seat, simple. What a stupid pattern!

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 09:51

18. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


So yet another $100/device (as per Apple experts of course) feature if someone else was to implement it?

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 10:12 2

19. 0xFFFF (Posts: 2964; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


In the US, we are paying for years of dumbed down education. This sort of nanny phone seems like part of that price.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 10:23 1

21. SellPhones82 (Posts: 499; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


So now drivers will try to hold their phones in the back seat or passages seat so they can still text while the vehicle is moving. I think this is a step in the right direction at least. So if your at a stop light you can use the phone then? Will this also kill using the phone via the cars Bluetooth for calls?

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 11:00 1

23. Augustine (Posts: 709; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


This is just ridiculous. Were phones that a menace to driving, from almost none to almost all drivers having one, accidents should have skyrocketed, yet they have actually decreased. The facts bear witness that calling, texting and using the phone do not affect driving, at least not more than putting make up, reading the newspaper, messing with the radio or AC do. If we put safety first, we'll not even leave our homes, much less create advanced communication devices. Safety third!

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 11:21

27. McLTE (Posts: 692; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


I don't know what world you live in, but in MINE I see people driving and using their phones CONSTANTLY. Eating, makeup, reading.. sure it all happens, but I can't pick out a constant stream of people doing it every day.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 14:50

35. Augustine (Posts: 709; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


Then why haven't accidents got proportionally worse with the increased number of cell phone users, especially after the popularization of smart phones? Could it just maybe be because people do it when it's reasonably prudent and not for very long?

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 14:40

33. Zero0 (Posts: 583; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


Right.

Surely something that takes a hand off the wheel, two eyes off the road, and the mind out of focus is not dangerous.

Cars are heavy metal machines. Tiny mistakes can kill people. Don't mess around.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 14:48

34. Augustine (Posts: 709; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


Take a hand off the wheel like changing gears in a manual? ERMEHGAD, how do people all over the world drive and don't die like flies in traffic?

The facts bear against your rationale. People are capable of doing something else while driving and not killing anyone.

posted on 27 Apr 2014, 10:39

38. Zero0 (Posts: 583; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


Taking words out of the rest of context?!

Forget the hand. Multitasking is humanly impossible. The brain is threaded, not multicore. If you're currently texting, then you're not currently driving, but you're still responsible for the safety of everyone around your fatal machine.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 11:17 1

26. StanleyG88 (Posts: 76; Member since: 15 Mar 2012)


So, what about my case where my phone remains in my pocket and I can send and receive texts through the car. I can dictate texts and send them and the car can read to me received texts through the car speakers. This patent will not stop this because my phone is still in my pocket.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 11:30 1

28. SPASE (Posts: 82; Member since: 03 May 2013)


Great..... now there will be even more accidents,,,,
People will then hold their phones over the passenger seats and do what they do.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 17:20

36. A_collins1994 (Posts: 1; Member since: 24 Apr 2014)


Well looks like i'm swtiching from Apple to Android. What if you are expecting an important call? It won't come in and you miss, baby being born, a death in the family, an accident that happened, a job opening, ect.. This in my opinion will not be useful at all. If you're really busy that day, and also expecting the phone call then you better drop everything else and stay home.

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