Apple patent for the iPhone could end texting while driving

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.


source: USPTO via TheGuardian

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38 Comments

1. sriuslywtf

Posts: 297; Member since: Jul 09, 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...

3. sriuslywtf

Posts: 297; Member since: Jul 09, 2013

Sorry... *you're

22. chocowii

Posts: 478; Member since: Jan 30, 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.

30. Finalflash

Posts: 4062; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

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

2. bubbadoes

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 03, 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.

4. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 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.

24. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

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

25. Sauce unregistered

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

5. Teja171 unregistered

Apple, how many patents do you own ? a million ? Tomorrow, they could even patent their screws used in their devices.LOL

9. rantao333

Posts: 345; Member since: May 21, 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.

10. Teja171 unregistered

Chill dude.

16. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 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...

20. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

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

31. Finalflash

Posts: 4062; Member since: Jul 23, 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.

37. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

they make ships nuff said -_-

6. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

What if passenger needs to text?

7. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

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

8. threed61

Posts: 259; Member since: May 27, 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?

14. threed61

Posts: 259; Member since: May 27, 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.

29. johnbftl

Posts: 283; Member since: Jun 09, 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.

32. threed61

Posts: 259; Member since: May 27, 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.

11. chocowii

Posts: 478; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

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

12. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

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

13. TechDork

Posts: 400; Member since: May 10, 2010

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

15. Mrmark

Posts: 371; Member since: Jan 26, 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.

17. D79_D79_

Posts: 40; Member since: Feb 19, 2014

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

18. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

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

19. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

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

21. SellPhones82

Posts: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 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?

23. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 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!

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