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.
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.
And it should prevent us from left-lane driving, tailgating, driving while intoxicated and driving slower than the vehicles around us. Then there is changing lanes without looking/signaling. Driving in somone's blind-spot, etc. Stop signs on roads and streets need to go. From my experience, 70% of drivers these days don't know what to do at a stop sign.
Most accidents seem to be the result of intoxicated, tired and distracted driving as well as deer and unfavorable road conditions. Accidents due to driving up to 15 mph over the posted speed limit on the highway are in the minority, I believe.
Yep, those would be great to implement too. Having lived and worked in the Baltimore area for the last 17 years, most the multi-vehicle accidents I've witnessed generally occur because some dipstick was in such a huge freaking rush to get somewhere and took stupid risks until it bites them. Even if it was as so important as to get home to enjoy their evening one minute and seventeen seconds sooner than it might have taken them if they drove like granny instead of Dale Earnhardt.
In spite of my tongue-in-cheek suggestion, I am not really risk averse. After all, I ride motorycycles in the dirt and on the street (35 years worth), jumped out of perfectly good airplanes, snow ski, water ski, autocross, and sometimes even run with scissors.
Truthfully speaking, I abhor the nanny state we have become. My preference is for accountability for stupidity instead of legislating the prevention of stupidity. After all, we are supposed to be adults.
J.W. It is fairly well documented that 80% of all accidents happen because of not concentrating on driving, which includes drunks not concentrating. About 15% of them come from human errors, which would include driving way too fast. The last 5% are from other causes including mechanical failures.
Drunkenness and texting both are serious distractions, and drunk driving gets a severe punishment, usually. But probably textingmis a more complete distraction, and hence even more dangerous. And nobody clims that drunk driving is OK.
The problem is that safe driving does require a lot of attention and concentration, and there are a lot of foks with that millisecond attention span who are simply no longer able to focus their attention enough to drive safely. So why should I be put at risk because of their very real problem? They should take a bus and never drive.
JW, a governor holding a car to the posted speed is one screaminly socialistic concept, believing that those whom I never voted for are much smarter than me. AND you know that in no time at all the special interest business people would be forcing cars to slow down much slower as they pass their stores. We have already had this happen by means of enforcement in a nearby community,Clawson, Mi, Now it has been relieved a bit, but it is still a city to avoid if one is driving.
On top of that it has been shown that drivers deliberately speeding were far more attentive than average drivers holding the limit.
BUt you may get your wish if autonomous vehicles become a reality on public roads. It will be easy to spot, just look for the slow moving traffic.
Hi WK, I'm not really serious about that. See my response to NightOwl. My concern is really about all the people that think this Appvice is actually a good idea. I tried to draft a believable but still outrageous example of potential excessive government in our lives. Most people seem to speed, at least to a small degree, and removing the ability to speed, even if one generally does not, places an onerous level of control of private citizens. This little Appvice thing is just another liberty being stripped away (if actually mandated mind you versus voluntary use, i.e teenagers) from the people.
My assertion is that societal mores should discourage people from doing things that are mildly stupid. When we as a society decide to freely chastize those who text and drive, this problem will take care of itself with no need for more laws or complicated equipment to deny use in those situations. This would be akin to the use of stocks and pillories back in the Colonial period. Public humiliation generally is a very effective punishment however, it does not appear to be effective on politicians.
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.
There already is an app to circumvent this system. In fact, there are many. This line is the key "...the system consists of a software app, which loads onto a smartphone..." - find your favorite app killer and you're good to text. And it won't take teens long to get onto William K's idea of aluminum foil either.
Any system that requires the slightest bit of cooperation will NEVER work when human beings are involved. They are determined, resourceful, have friends with many talents, and are able to rationalize in their minds just about any behavior that suits them.
Westen, the difference that I see is that foil covering the box leaves no indication that anything has been tampered with, once it is removed. Tampering with a program is usually evident if somebody examines things closely.
You're correct, Western NY. There are other apps for this. This is the first for an iPhone, however. Also, I agree that determined callers and texters can always find a way. The simplest might be to not buy this device in the first place.
I hate to say this, William K, but I've kind of reached the conclusion that the problem can't be completely solved. In 2012, when the NTSB suggested that phone usage of any kind in the car should be outlawed, there was nearly a full-scale revolt. Everyone wants others to shut down their phones, but they don't want to do it themselves.
Charles, You are certainly correct about the problem not being solvable. A major part of that, aside from the immense popularity of driving with distractions, is the reality that the cellular companies have way more money for lobbying than the tobaco companies ever had. Perhaps i a less democratic area, like North LOrea, such a law might be passed and possibly enforced, but not in most places.
So possibly a solution would be to come down hard on the ones who have the accidents because they are distracted. That would affect the guilty and not touch the ones who don't have collisions due to not paying attention to their driving. Not touching the innocent might allow some laws to get passed.
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.
I already have a device that block distractions for the driver, allows emergency use and allows passangers to use their phones. It also works with any device not just smart phones. It also works in any car I drive, and even while walking down the street. I carry it with me where ever I go.
Its sits on top of my shoulders, its called a brain.
The responsibilities of driving are constantly overlooked and the government keeps adding mandates to the vehicles rather than enforcing the current laws, and that goes for law enforcement too. Just once I'd like to see a cop in traffic that wasn't talking on his cell phone.
Teko, you are certainly correct in saying that the fundamental concept is overlooking personal responsibilities. But the truth is that ignoring personal responsibilities has been a liberal mindset since at least the mid-sixties, and most folks have become used to it and no longer seem to be offended that some refuse to accept responsibility for their actions. Probably technology will never be able to provide a solution for that problem.
And this wonderful invention would probably be rendered inoperative with just a piece of aluminum foil pressed over it as an elecrostatic shield. If it can't detect a phone it certainly can't prevent anything. A multi-hundred dollar device tharted by three cents worth of foil. HAH!
I need one with a builtin tazer for those long road trips with the family. If my wife starts asking me philisophical questions as I'm trying to plow through rushhour traffic while teaching my kids new and interesting expletives, it would be great if the device would giver her a good zap. Maybe it could have a nag sensor, too.
I agree that this gadget could be just as useful for adults as it is for teens. However, I will disagree on making it a legal requirement for all vehicles. There are millions of responsible drivers out there who receive calls while driving and, unless caused by something beyond their control, are in no danger of distraction at all. There are some calls that you simply must take and it is not always that you can park right away in order to take them.
On another note, every car that is owned by a teen should have this gadget as a component required by law. Teenagers get distracted too fast, much more easily than adults do and can easily cause accidents when they get carried away in their long phone conversations while they are driving.
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