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Software Holds Cell Phone Calls While Driving

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the hang-up-and-drive dept.

Cellphones 452

An anonymous reader writes "Canadian company Aegis Mobility has developed software that detects if a cell phone is moving at 'car' speeds. If so, the software, DriveAssistT, will alert the cellular network, telling it to hold calls and text messages until the drive is over. Calls are not blocked entirely; callers will be notified that the person appears to be driving, but they can still leave an emergency voice mail, which will be sent through immediately."

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452 comments

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This is different from the OFF button how? (5, Insightful)

kpainter (901021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378121)

Seems like exactly the same as turning the phone off. I smell a patent!

Re:This is different from the OFF button how? (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378297)

Funny you should smell a patent: MS actually has a very similar one(though, shockingly enough, MS's variant has a lot more centralized command and control, and a lot less local decisionmaking by devices, go figure). US Patent Application 20080125102 [uspto.gov]

Re:This is different from the OFF button how? (2, Insightful)

welcher (850511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378349)

It's different because you don't need to remember to turn it back on.

Re:This is different from the OFF button how? (4, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378421)

So its just like ignoring the god damn call until you're off the road.

Re:This is different from the OFF button how? (4, Insightful)

welcher (850511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378543)

except that you don't need to employ willpower to avoid the temptation to see who's calling

Re:This is different from the OFF button how? (4, Insightful)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378621)

FSM forbid that driving might require self-control.

Re:This is different from the OFF button how? (4, Insightful)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378551)

I really think you're oversimplifying to make your point. For one, it answers the call. Instead of somebody calling and thinking that you may just be out of coverage or you forgot to turn your ringer back on, they get told what the situation really is. If they are a friend or relative, they probably know you well enough to estimate when to try again. Of course, you may not want just anyone to know even that much about you, you may not have a parent or child who worries if they just don't get an answer, etc. But for people with a minor child, or a mother who can get a bit irrationally worried if they can't get in touch, or a job which requires them to respond, within reason, if the office calls, this could be very useful.

Re:This is different from the OFF button how? (2, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378743)

For one, it answers the call. Instead of somebody calling and thinking that you may just be out of coverage or you forgot to turn your ringer back on, they get told what the situation really is.

What you've just described is an away message for your voice mail.

While they're at it, v2 should let me tell people when I'm eating dinner.
And when I'm watching a movie.
And when I'm asleep.
[/sarcasm]

Re:This is different from the OFF button how? (3, Interesting)

Geam (30459) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378449)

Seems like exactly the same as turning the phone off. I smell a patent!

It is different because you do not need to pay a monthly fee to turn the phone off.

From TFA:

The company hopes to be able to announce early next year that the software is available through a carrier, probably for $10 to $20 per month for a family.

Nobody would ever switch to passenger mode "just this one time because it is important" while driving either.

Re:This is different from the OFF button how? (4, Interesting)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378819)

i agree that it's stupid to charge for this feature (really stupid), but the point of this is to provide a convenience to the subscriber, not to restrict their actions. this isn't like one of those court-ordered car breathalyzers that are meant to safeguard against poor judgment or deter stupid behavior.

chances are, if someone has this service enabled on their phone, they intend on using it. if they choose to ignore it, that's their business. it doesn't detract from the inherent usefulness of this service for those who don't want to be distracted while their car is moving.

frankly, i think legally requiring cellphone carriers to offer this type of service would be much more productive than the current state law in California requiring people to use hands-free headsets while driving--which is proven to be just as distracting as holding a phone to your ear. it's the act of engaging in a phone conversation while driving that causes accidents, not the fact that you're holding a phone with one hand. but i bet makers of hands-free headset are real happy about the government endorsement of their product.

Re:This is different from the OFF button how? (3, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378723)

Lordy. I just scrolled down and read a bazzillion (it's a real word. Just ask George Dubya) posts with the following. To stop a bazzillion more people posting the same thing, a quick rundown of what people have already thought of:

People other than drivers use phones.
There is a function to turn the feature off.
It would seem that it would get turned on in a train automatically too.
Yes, people use phones in taxi's.

If you were going to post along those lines, save your typing fingers. It's like those four points over and over again for the page of comments.

Its a good thing that passengers never make calls (4, Insightful)

hugzz (712021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378127)

Per subject..

Re:Its a good thing that passengers never make cal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378245)

If you RTFA, you'll notice the software isn't supposed to be mandatory. You can set it to "passenger mode" by design.

Re:Its a good thing that passengers never make cal (0, Redundant)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378345)

Which would then defeat the purpose since drivers would now set it to passenger mode.

Re:Its a good thing that passengers never make cal (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378587)

Which would then defeat the purpose since drivers would now set it to passenger mode.

The purpose is to give the driver the choice. It achieves that purpose. TFA mentions if you override it is logged, so parents/employers can nag you about it.

The only issue I have with the idea is that it costs $10 a month. Seems excessive. If it catches on I expect it would be a virtually free feature in later models.

Re:Its a good thing that passengers never make cal (1)

c1t1z3nk41n3 (1112059) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378709)

The driver ALREADY HAS a choice. Just because your phone rings doesn't in any way obligate you to pick it up. Many of my friends don't answer their phones while driving. They just call me back when they get a chance.

Re:Its a good thing that passengers never make cal (4, Informative)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378333)

Good thing there's a passenger mode and you can basically opt out. I have hands free in the car and I find it useful to take the occasional call, so I wouldn't use this in a car.

Motorbikes are different. I'd definitely use something like this eliminate the distraction of the phone ringing or buzzing when riding.

Re:Its a good thing that passengers never make cal (4, Funny)

TehZorroness (1104427) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378499)

that must be one MOTHERFUCKING loud and obnoxious ring tone to hear it over the wind and bike flying down the highway :P

Perfect for lunch or movies :)

Re:Its a good thing that passengers never make cal (2, Funny)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378615)

You haven't seen his motor bike [kingsmotorbikes.com] !

Re:Its a good thing that passengers never make cal (1)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378341)

I bet greyhound and Amtrack will not approve either.

Re:Its a good thing to RTFA (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378489)

Duh. You can turn it off if you're a passenger.

"override the motion-sensing feature to indicate that they're riding in car rather than driving".

And I'm sure you can initiate calls regardless.

Re:Its a good thing that passengers never make cal (1)

Uzik2 (679490) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378781)

Ever sat at a stop light watching traffic?
It's not the passengers making the calls.
As long as you get what you want who cares what other people want.

police state solutions looking for problems... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378131)

nt

Will anyone use it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378133)

Don't most people think they can talk and drive at the same time?

Re:Will anyone use it? (3, Insightful)

Cheetahfeathers (93473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378495)

Yes, the vast majority think they are above average drivers. They think _they_ are special. They can handle it, it won't distract them. It's pretty much the same arguments drunk drivers use.

Of course many laws trying to fix the cell phone and drive problem are delusional too. They allow hands free phones, as if multiple studies haven't found that it's about as bad as a hand held phone while driving.

Stop trying. (4, Insightful)

MasaMuneCyrus (779918) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378801)

Nearly every time I see someone driving outlandishly stupid on the road, they're using a cell phone. However, there are more stupid things that you can do while driving that are more distracting than a cell phone: changing the radio, eating, drinking, looking for something, reading directions. None of these things are illegal, merely discouraged.

Outlawing cell phone use while driving is futile; there are always ways to get around it, e.g., hands-free links. If there is no way to enforce a law, it shouldn't be a law in the first place.

I think if we stopped trying to ban it and merely strongly recommended not using cell phones while driving, we would see an effective drop in the number of people using cell phones while driving. Seat belts, for instance, weren't enforced until this past decade (at least in my state). However, advertising, education, and signs asking you to buckle up made it so the vast majority did buckle up. Was it illegal to drive without a seat belt on? No. Was it safe? Yes, so most people did it. Why can't we approach the cellphone problem like we approached the seat belt problem? Why are we so gungho about laws and declaring everything unsatisfactory illegal nowadays?

This is because of the French (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378139)

First they took our cars, then they took our phones, next they will take our women. Down with the French and that asshole who lives on Pine street, that stupid loud fucker with his ugly dog! Now listen to me people, if you like your country and want a cell phone, France is your enemy because they are friends with that guy. OK? And I will have one computer please.

The French are trying to cdensor the truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378373)

Or maybe it is the Greeks, or the Italians. But whoever it is, we won't buy corn before February if there is any space rays in my ear like last time, Jeff, you hear me? What is a "troll" anyway, shit eaters? BRING IT ON!

How about I just don't answer it... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378143)

... and let the machine get it.

This is brilliant (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378149)

Nobody rides a train at car speeds, am I right?

Re:This is brilliant (2, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378371)

Wouldn't someone think of the super heroes...

Re:This is brilliant (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378471)

Train? I looked it up on wikipedia and I think I understand the concept. Its sort of like a bunch of cars where only the lead car is driving. In a way, its sort of like a tandem trailer with lots and lots of trailing wagons tied on the back. I guess you may have a point.

Re:This is brilliant (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378695)

Ughh.. Americans. It may surprise you that in places OUTSIDE of the USA (gasp! sucha a thing exists!? The travesty!) trains are a VERY convenient way of transportation. As such, they are widely used. /Euro-troll

COMMENT FIRST TO I'M? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378155)

This is great because all I do is drive in SoCal. So people stop calling me looking for money!! Yeah!!!

Don't worry. (5, Funny)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378159)

The "I'm in the back of an unmarked white van" patch has already been released.

Well this is stupid (3, Insightful)

SoonerPet (893902) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378177)

So when I'm on the train, subway, in the back of a taxi or in the passenger seat in a car I can't talk on the phone either? I believe I'd be going the same "car" speeds in all those situations. I don't think they thought this through at all. It would just piss me off more than anything.

Re:Well this is stupid (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378255)

That's what, 1% of commuters in the U.S.? Get your own car, loser.

Re:Well this is stupid (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378437)

So when I'm on the train, subway, in the back of a taxi or in the passenger seat in a car I can't talk on the phone either? I believe I'd be going the same "car" speeds in all those situations. I don't think they thought this through at all. It would just piss me off more than anything.

Or maybe their professional engineers already thought about all the cases for their product before they released it...

"Optionally, users as passengers can choose to override DriveAssistâ and accept incoming calls and place outbound calls without interruption."

Re:Well this is stupid if you don't RTFA (4, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378519)

I don't think they thought this through at all.

Of course they have. You can TURN IT OFF if you're a passenger.

RTFA FFS.

Re:Well this is stupid if you don't RTFA (1)

hacker (14635) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378711)

"Of course they have. You can TURN IT OFF if you're a passenger."

I'm with the OP on this one. If you can turn it off as a passenger, what's to stop me from turning it off AS THE DRIVER also?

Re:Well this is stupid if you don't RTFA (1)

isaac338 (705434) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378763)

How about your desire to not be distracted by phone calls while driving?

Strikes me as odd you see that as a problem - if you've not got the discipline to enable the thing when you're driving, why pay for it at all?

Re:Well this is stupid if you don't RTFA (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378805)

Isn't the plan to make this technology mandatory? Then it has to work even if you don't desire it.

Re:Well this is stupid (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378725)

This is one of the dumbest ideas I have read. Maybe they should go write some software for device drivers for linux..there is more work to be done there

I am kidnapped passenger help! (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378179)

Um how to they differentiate between driver and passenger?

"emergency voice mail" (3, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378185)

No, wrong, voice mail is more of a distraction than receiving text messages. Just don't enable the ability to respond to the text message until the car comes to a stop.

But what about passengers?

Re:"emergency voice mail" (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378251)

No, wrong, voice mail is more of a distraction than receiving text messages. Just don't enable the ability to respond to the text message until the car comes to a stop.

But what about passengers?

Who cares about the passengers. I want this company to make a phone which can short the battery to self destruct, you know, when some asshole is talking on the phone while I'm waiting in line. *shakes fist at cell phone assholes* You know when geriatrics talk amongst themselves about their digestive issues? Those conversations are infinitely more enthralling than your idiotic twaddle! So, please die in a fire!

Re:"emergency voice mail" (1, Insightful)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378445)

when some asshole is talking on the phone while I'm waiting in line.

What, we should all just wait in miserable silence, like you? Put our lives on hold because we're disrupting your perfect universe of quiet solitude? Maybe you want to waste time in line, but we don't. So get fucked.

Re:"emergency voice mail" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378663)

Because talking on a mobile phone right next to someone is like playing loud music that people are guaranteed not to like.

Half a conversation is a painful thing to listen to and it's rude to subject people to it.

Re:"emergency voice mail" (1)

Hooya (518216) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378761)

I've always found this to be quite odd. People getting pissed at others for talking on the phone. What if I were talking to another person standing next to me? Would that piss you off? Now take that other person and put some distance between us and give us a device to allow us to not have to shout to hear each other... Let's call that device a 'cell-phone'.

Or are you pissed that you're only hearing one half of the conversation?

Re:"emergency voice mail" (1)

unjedai (966274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378521)

No, wrong, voice mail is more of a distraction than receiving text messages.

Evidence?

Other Options... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378203)

What about the train commuters out there?

Re:Other Options... (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378433)

I'd expect you could differentiate based on the GPS location, or perhaps just speed. Most passenger trains seem to go a bit faster than typical highway speeds.

easy (0)

jslupski (742355) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378529)

if 100 phones travel at similar speed together (a network service) - it is not a car, and lock does not apply ;-)

Re:easy (3, Insightful)

WaXHeLL (452463) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378673)

I hear that a freeway describes exactly what you are talking about,

What about Clown Cars? (1)

Zymergy (803632) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378815)

Re:Other Options... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378665)

No problem, just set it to passenger mode. Same if you're a passenger, or in a taxi, or a bus, or a ferry, or on the end of a parachute

Your call is important to me... (2, Funny)

exley (221867) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378225)

Should go over well with friends and family.

Wrong Headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378239)

"Software Designed To Interrupt Phone Calls, Annoy Customers"

There, fixed that for you.

Who the hell would want this? Is it that hard NOT to take a call while driving?

God save us from people who think they're doing us a favor saving us from ourselves...

Re:Wrong Headline (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378717)

Is it that hard NOT to take a call while driving?

evidently, YES.

Slight oversight (4, Interesting)

Saib0t (204692) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378247)

People don't take the train, or bus?

Car passengers don't get to make phone calls either?

But more importantly, what is Iron Man going to do to call off missiles being shot at him now?

Re:Slight oversight (1, Flamebait)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378323)

Not in America, no. Public transport in America is only for the very, very poor.

Re:Slight oversight (2, Funny)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378417)

Good news, though. The current economy may dramatically help with that problem.

Re:Slight oversight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378657)

Or live in a state where public transportation is rated the best in the country like Hawaii.

Hawaii has one of the highest gas prices in the Country. It was close to $4.40/gal

Seems to be a myth (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378455)

I take the bus to work in colorado about half the time, it's really quite a reasonable and frequent service given how far out of town i am.

My parents live a similar distance from edinburgh and I can assure you that their public transit is significantly poorer.

I think it gets skewed because most US impressions of europe are of big cities like London and Paris that have exceptional public transport (probably not too unlike NYC either)

Re:Seems to be a myth (4, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378635)

Actually NYC is screwed up compared to many U.S. cities. Since they built the very first subways in the US, and a lot of other cities learned from their mistakes. Washington DC for example, has really good public transit, and the parts I've seen of Atlanta, while a pretty limited sample around the airport and convention centers and hotels, look very good too. New York isn't nearly as bad as most US tourists think, but having the terminals underground to give a smaller surface footprint makes it harder for the police to keep problems out - there's places that have solidly licked that particular problem just by putting the turnstyle level above ground with plenty of glass around it, and others that feel they can afford enough beat cops to really watch the entrances.

Re:Slight oversight (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378685)

That depends on where you are. In some places, like New York City, there's very good public transport and everybody uses it. In Los Angeles, the local transit authority (The MTA) agrees with you and the service is rotten. Not only that, it's a "spoke system" designed strictly to get people to and from Central LA and it's almost impossible to move from one outlying area to another without going downtown even if the two areas are almost adjacent.

Forgetting something? (1)

EncryptedSoldier (1278816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378261)

Ummm what if you are a passenger in the car? That would royally suck if you couldn't answer calls or text while being a PASSENGER in the car!

More than just that they're driving... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378275)

From the video: "Press 3 to request subscriber location information."

Great. So, not only is it blocking all communication while moving sufficiently fast, it's also reporting your location back to anyone who calls.

It seems to be presented as something you'd put on a teen's phone. Great for the parents, I'm sure. The teens are going to hate it.

And for what it's worth, it's not incredibly difficult to talk on the phone while driving -- or to ignore it. I'm sure drunk driving is a much bigger problem.

Feedback! (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378295)

While I'm at it, they have a feedback form [aegismobility.com] -- it requires subscribing to their spam^Wnewsletter, but it's possible they actually don't know how much this idea sucks.

Re:More than just that they're driving... (4, Informative)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378569)

And for what it's worth, it's not incredibly difficult to talk on the phone while driving -- or to ignore it. I'm sure drunk driving is a much bigger problem.

Nope. Common misconception and just plain wrong

The reactions of drivers on phone calls are [theage.com.au] worse [walk.com.au] than [nowwearetalking.com.au] the reactions of drunk drivers. Check those links, or use google, you'll find a mass of studies supporting this.

So if you are someone who thinks it's okay to drive while on the phone, please turn in you license and refrain from driving at all.

Re:More than just that they're driving... (1, Informative)

SirLars (871223) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378713)

big difference
That is ridiculous, anyone that CAN'T drive while talking on the phone should turn in their licence or refrain from driving at all.

Comparing drunk driving to driving with a cell phone is even more ridiculous because you can turn off the phone if more attention is needed for the road but you can't turn off being drunk.

If someone cannot pay attention to their driving because they are talking on the phone then they should be charged with careless driving not driving with a cellphone. Simply talking on the phone while driving does not and should not constitute careless driving.

fckn' fascists

Re:More than just that they're driving... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378777)

"Comparing drunk driving to driving with a cell phone is even more ridiculous because you can turn off the phone if more attention is needed for the road but you can't turn off being drunk."

Yup. Little kid runs out from between parked cars, driver fumbles for the hang up button before pressing it to focus better on driving. Hey, what was that crunch and bump?

fckn' knob end.

Re:More than just that they're driving... (4, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378699)

Their have been TV shows where people tested cell phone subjects, i.e. driving in a parking with cones laid out, or at a track, and pretty frequently, people using cell phones have reaction times similar to people who are legally drunk, and make similar numbers and types of mistakes. I've even seen examples where the reporter or host has told a driver, "What you've just done compares to a person who's driving with a BAQ of about 0.18 or 0.22." So don't be too sure drunk driving is a much bigger problem. It might just be that the drunk is drunk the whole journey, and the cell phone user is only an increased risk while they are actually on the phone, and most calls don't last the whole trip.

Please... (3, Funny)

zarozarozaro (756135) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378281)

Won't someone please think of the passengers?

Some facts (5, Informative)

eightball (88525) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378283)

From here [aegismobility.com]

Key Features:
Automatic initiation of service
Passenger override capability
911 always allowed

Inbound caller message is played that the subscriber is driving
Inbound caller is routed to voicemail and text messages are stored and forwarded later
Outbound calls and text messages are disallowed
Priority notification is supported as an option
Location requests are optional, when permission is granted by the subscriber
Accept list of numbers assures user control over privacy of context information

but don't let that get into your 2 minutes of hate.

Re:Some facts (2, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378773)

You left out one other feature

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. said it plans to offer a discount of 3 percent to 10 percent on family policies for people who use DriveAssistT.

I imagine you've been on /. long enough to see the implications of that.

The insurance company 'discount' will quickly become a premium for everyone else.
Especially if the service is only available from one cellular company.

Personally, I don't see that happening soon,
since the software is limited to relatively expensive GPS enabled WinMo & Symbian phones.

Bad, bad idea (0, Redundant)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378285)

I don't know if I'm this way because I'm a programmer, or if I'm a programmer because I'm this way, but I always feel the compulsion to invent cases where some new idea would be really terrible. Examples include car lights that come on automatically at night, and the case where you're trying to escape from a deaf serial killer. Well, this one's fairly easy: you're trying to surreptitiously dial 911 because you're being carjacked or kidnapped. Too bad for you!

Re:Bad, bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378459)

Except that it always allows calls to 911, no matter what, and it allows you to override it if you're a passenger.

pull the sim card and then call 911 as that puts a (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378473)

pull the sim card and then call 911 as that puts alot of phones in to a basic mode.

Re:Bad, bad idea (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378735)

You, and half the rest here.

Oh, I get it... (1)

tragedy in chaos (1382095) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378291)

You see, the purpose behind this is two-fold.

First you have the publicly announced intent. This however, is more of a ruse that anything else however.

Secondly, and the primary purpose, is so that caller doesn't hear the mile long string of obscenities and ear shattering crunch when you give your best fast ball and throw your phone at the wall.

It all makes sense now...

Victim of a Similar Feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378293)

When I was visiting my grandparents recently, I was playing with the combination GPS/XM radio system mounted in the center console while riding shotgun. It took me a while to figure out why some of the features seemed to not be working -- certain functions were locked out while the car was in motion. Considering I wasn't driving (and considering it just grayed out the options instead of popping up a warning), it was a rather frustrating experience both before and after I found out what was going on.

That being said, it would be nice if callers were notified that I'm driving if they try and call under those circumstances. But I'd prefer if they could allow the phone to ring normally if they deem it necessary -- especially if they're calling to let me know that I left something and I need to turn around and go back.

A service that holds calls while u drive (1)

SohCahToa (1038480) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378305)

6 months later they will come out with a service that lets u receive those same calls, but for 20 dollars more

hrm.. (1)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378313)

Trains? Taxis? Just turn the damn thing off.

:) hehe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378325)

Personally, I enjoy driving while I talk on the phone. These people can get fucked.

When all you have is a hammer (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378343)

.... everything looks like a nail.

I predict a sudden rise in "emergencies"

The Nanny-Staters will love this... (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378377)

Yes, the Nanny-State types will really love this. Until the elite members of the Nanny State Directors Brigade are trying to run somone else's life from the back seat of their hybrid limo on the way to a fundraiser where they'll be asking Motorola for more campaign cash.

Re:The Nanny-Staters will love this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378431)

Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baronâ(TM)s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

-- C. S. Lewis

Optional (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378405)

This is not meant to be mandatory, ok. So quit crying about what happens when you're a passenger in a car, or on a train, bus etc. What happens is you turn the feature off.

How much of a Nanny State (1)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378409)

do we need? What next they going to gag and bag my kids so they don't distract me? Here's an idea, ticket distracted drivers.

Dumb idea. (2, Interesting)

ChangeOnInstall (589099) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378411)

This brings to mind the "feature" in most navigation systems where most functionality is disabled while driving. Terrible idea, as it winds up being more distracting trying to work around it.

Case in point, the Nissan/Infiniti navi/entertainment stuff in my sister-in-law's car. It disables certain "more complex" functions when moving. One of the disabled features is browsing for a song to play from a CF card. Result: you spend more time playing with the thing trying to find the song you were looking for, which means the "safety feature" has in fact created an additional distraction.

The time I had to pull off the freeway in a "not-so-nice" area to reprogram my navigation system (had accidentally selected avoid freeways without realizing it) is another simple example of the dangers of such nannyware. Had to do this because the Nav thought it would be too dangerous for me to push "Dest", and then "Previous Destination", and then toggle the "Freeway" checkbox.

The next day a $2.50 Radio Shack switch was installed to disable the vehicle speed sensor feed wire. :D More modern navs can't be worked around in this fashion, but you can often scour torrent sites for "patches" to navigation DVDs to work around the speed-disable "feature". Some companies even make a living at it by building add on modules to the system itself, e.g. http://www.coastaletech.com/gmx320.htm [coastaletech.com] . It's a requirement for any vehicle I purchase from here on out that any such "nanny features" be capable of being disabled.

No one wants this. I wouldn't touch a phone with it. Good luck with that.

How does it work? (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378485)

How does it know that a car is moving at car speed? If it was hardware, I would think it has some kind of sensors for acceleration and works out the speed from that, but the summary says it's software.

Re:How does it work? (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378509)

Ok, never mind, it only works with gps phones. I thought it was something clever to do with the changes in signal strength between cell towers or something.

Re:How does it work? (1)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378795)

The GPS in a phone can tell indeed tell you how fast you are going. They take all the information they can get (including cell tower data), since their primary requirement is an extremely robust fix under all circumstances (cf 911 dispatch).

I've done work with GPS location stuff under Brew, and two things come to my mind immediately: applications need the equivalent of root privilege to alter the phone call progress, and GPS fixes cost money. At least they did on Sprint when we were testing. Maybe they don't cost as much any more. We spent lots of time fiddling with how often we got a fix to track things that were happening but not bankrupt the customer in the process.

...laura

this seems like a good idea (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378511)

It will work well for most people, but they don't keep a handset which doesn't work while they drive.

It will prevent a lot of accidents. People just won't want to use it. Good intentions, good tech, bad to force it on people.

Re:this seems like a good idea (1)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378697)

It will prevent a lot of accidents. People just won't want to use it. Good intentions, good tech, bad to force it on people.

I say the opposite. It isn't being forced on people, it is optional, but still a bad idea, and won't prevent any accidents. Anybody with an ounce of common sense already doesn't answer their cell phone while driving, and nobody would enable a feature like this. Most likely, the only effect this will have is frustrating people where this feature is enabled by default, causing their cell phone to mysteriously miss important calls, and then a week later they discover this feature and disable it.

Traffic Lights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378619)

Rightio..

But what happens when you come to a stop at a set of traffic lights? Is there a timer (like 5min) before it de-activates. or will it just start sending it all through?

Traffic Jam? where its unlikely to be travelling at 'car' speeds, or much of anywhere for that matter. What happens then?

But more importantly. Why bother with this.. Phones have a silent setting and an off button. Either does the same thing (stops the driver from breaking concentration while driving) and have been on phones forever and a day.

Reinvent the wheel anyone?

Good name for the device (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25378643)

I like how it's called a 'driver assistant' instead of a 'cellphone fucker'

Speed Limits?! (1)

NeuroManson (214835) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378687)

What if you're a passenger in a car? Even if they could pinpoint the location with GPS's limitation, how do they know you're the driver?

In addition, every state, and every country has a different speed limit (even different counties). For example, the speed limit in the stretches around the Puget Sound range from 55 to 65 MPH. Other states in the US have speed limits up to 70, and some of which where the highways have little towns and even less local traffic (such as N. Dakota) have little to no speed limit at all.

So hypothetically speaking, anyone using said technology without an up to date map of regions allowing for said speed limits could not only be capable of false negatives, but could be used for damning (albeit erroneous) testimony, applied in regions where a similar case would be applied, such as a jury that doesn't *know* you could drive legally at 70 MPH in any given region.

Revoke Their Insurance (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25378719)

Any time a driver is in a collision, their phone records should be searchable by their insurance corp for whether they were in a voice, text or other mobile phone session. If they were, and there's no evidence that the phone was operated by someone else (a passenger, left with someone at home, etc), they should be entitled to zero liability protection from their insurance. And their risk rating should get a lot worse.

Some people can drive while phoning. Everyone who tries it should be absolutely sure that they can handle it, or pay the consequences.

But preemptively interfering with people's phones without precisely excluding only those who are pressing it to their faces or otherwise taking an unmanageable risk is going way too far without adequate benefit.

And I say that as a motorcyclist who will harangue drivers I see pressing phones to their faces in traffic, and follow them home screaming blood at them if they don't hang up when I make the "hang it up" motion at them.

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