Chuck, This appears to be a really interesting and useful device. I would say, though, that you do not want it limited to teens. I see enough adults doing the same thing that it scares me. Perhaps these should be required.
Agree! This should be standard equipment on all new cars. The device would need to block all cell phone activity unless the phone is registered with the device. So the car would need to know about any phone in the car before allowing it to be used.
I agree that driving while using a cell phone for non-driving related tasks is a big problem. The difficulty with making it an effective requirement is that the blocking function resides in the phone, not in the box. Even if the box "knows" about the phones in the car, it cannot control the activities of phones which do not have the app loaded. It's difficult to see how you would enforce compliance for every phone of every passenger who happened to be in a car.
I wish there was more info on how this device works. I presume it uses triangulation to determine if the phone is in the "driver's seat zone" as opposed to anywhere else in the cabin. If that is the case, I can see a driver holding their phone at arms length in the "passenger seat zone" so they can use it. Sounds like it could make things worse in some cases.
Any RF signal can be blocked. If only one device is registered with the car, (Assuming for the most part it wil be the driver) Then all the phones will be allowed to operate as long as it knows that the drivers phone is with the driver, (and apparently it does) and is being limited. It was not long ago when a person in a car was "out of touch" and we all didn't die because we missed a call. Maybe the unregistered cell phones dont work either, who cares? Using cell phones in a car, even hands free is a proven distraction.
Since this is such a great idea we must also require all registered vehicles to have a system that prevents it from going faster than the posted limit. This is very easy to do and would make the roads much, much safer. More than 30,000 people die each year in automobile accidents, many of those due to excessive speed. This will protect our children by ensuring vehicles cannot exceed the posted limits in school zones. Our children deserve nothing less, for they are our future. The speed governor would be tied to a GPS and a database of every posted speed limit in the nation. If the vehicle is transitioning from a higher speed zone to a lower speed zone, the throttle will be released and the brakes will be applied until the lower limit is reached. Since many vehicles already have throttle-by-wire and ABS systems limiting the speed and controlling the braking and throttle is a capability already built into many newer vehicles. The vehicle will use a cell phone enabled communications system to perform periodic updates of the road speed limit database and also have a BIT feature that ensures the system is functioning correctly and has not been tampered with. This is a requirement whose time has come. We cannot wait any longer to make our roads safer.
I see a potential problem with this system. What about emergencies? Suppose the driver has had an accident and needs to call for help. Maybe the driver is trapped in the vehicle and can't move to another location within the vehicle. Even if the driver pulls over to make a phone call, wouldn't the call also be blocked? I don't think that this device has been well thought out.
Sometimes you have to use the phone while you're driving, like getting directions to a specific location. That's happened to me. The GPS receiver doesn't know everything. In the case of asking directions, I was not driving very fast. The GPS had gotten me to the general area, but I had to be talked around construction that the GPS didn't know about.
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