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NHTSA and DOT Want Your Car To Be Able To Disable Your Cellphone Functions

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the shut-it-down dept.

United States 405

savuporo writes "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation are considering technological solutions for people to stop using their cellphones while driving. Proximity detectors or requiring physical link with the car are the solutions under the scope. From the article: 'NHTSA wants automakers to make it impossible to enter text for messaging and internet browsing while the car is in motion, disable any kind of video functionality and prevent text-based information such as social media content or text messages from being displayed.' Obviously these regulations would need to go beyond cellphones, as laptop, tablet or any other gadget with a 3G data connection or even on a wi-fi hotspot made by your phone would be equally distracting."

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405 comments

First (5, Insightful)

thsths (31372) | about a year ago | (#43933451)

passenger - do you want to restrict them, too?

Re:First (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933481)

Even if you differentiate and only disable the driver's phone, how do you stop the drivers borrowing a passenger's phone? There isn't a technological solution to this, only legal ones (which already exist).

Re:First (5, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#43933491)

Beyond even that, what if im using my cellphone as a hotspot to provide the electronics in my car an internet connection? This is incredibly short sighted.

Re:First (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43933567)

And that means you'd need to be typing while you drive?

Re:First (4, Informative)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#43933647)

Not if you're a service tech at a modern car dealer: For some makes, having the car have an Internet connection (to communicate with the manufacturer) is a currently useful diagnostic aid during a test drive when attempting to sort out driveability issues.

Re:First (3, Insightful)

AaronW (33736) | about a year ago | (#43933649)

Not necessarily. For example, my car (Tesla model S) has an always-on 3G Internet connection. It is used for streaming music, maps and Internet (it does not disable the browser while driving). There is talk of charging money for the Internet connection once the WIFI feature is enabled or else allow teathering with a cell phone to provide the connection. The Internet connection is also used to improve voice recognition and for other services. The Internet connection is not just used for browsing or chat/email.

Then there's also the case where a passenger might want to use the Internet on a laptop.

Re:First (5, Interesting)

FPhlyer (14433) | about a year ago | (#43933699)

I use my phone's hotspot function to provide internet access for my kid's Android tablets and Nintendo DSi devices during long duration trips. Disabling all internet access would be a huge bummer resulting in even more "are we there yet?" situations then I already get. I also frequently stream music from my phone through my car's built-in stereo bluetooth. While we all want to save lives the reality is that "distracted driving" is caused not by technology but by human nature. Take away the tech and we'll just find some other distraction. Driving a car is so "second nature" in American culture that most of don't apply the level of concentration to the task that we should. Ever drive while juggling a hamburger and a soda?

My personal worst offense was over a decade ago when I pulled out my laptop and played a game of Quake 2 while "driving." In my defense, I was stuck behind an accident in a construction zone where traffic moved MAYBE three full meters during that two hour wait. Other drivers were out of their cars walking around so it seamed like a safe bet to pass the time with a distraction rather than get upset at the situation.

Re:First (1, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43933541)

In Principal, No.

In Practice, Yes.

It is worth restricting passengers in order to take out drivers. I would rather not be able to text as a passenger than worry about getting ran over by some 16 year old in Moms ton and a half SUV because 'OMFG Becky is not even hot'

What I want is for people to not fuck with their phones (or anything else!) while driving. Since that isn't something that people seem to be doing, and I care more about not getting ran over and killed by some ignorant jackass who's selfish ass thinks he can drive while staring down at his phone. In order to prevent that, I am MORE THAN WILLING to not use my phone as a passenger.

I don't really want to have hard restrictions imposed on the driver, but apparently we as Americans are too stupid to know that driving is dangerous and requires attention, so we have to impose such stupid restrictions on them. If theres some collateral damage, so be it.

I have to be alive for any of this to matter, so I'll take not getting ran over as my first choice. People did live before cell phones and gadgets, even took long trips and played games that actually helped the driver pay attention to the road at that!

As somone below pointed out the hot spot for your cars internet connection, again I must ask, why do you NEED an internet connection in your car? You don't. I have one, its cool as shit, my radio even runs Android so it has apps! I know not to try and dick with any of it when driving. Other people don't seem to be that intelligent, and telling them why its unsafe doesn't seem to be working.

Pissing off a few geeks is worth it.

Re: First (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933609)

If you dick with your phone while driving you deserve to lose your driving privilege. Don't punish passengers, nor drivers who use passengers as navcom. Taking away hotspots would kill innovation. Making it impossible to use a cell phone while driving violates any number of FCC regulations and poses a significant safety hazard itself: if your accelerator is stuck or you're being chased or otherwise MUST call 911 while your car is in motion, this legislation could kill you.

Re: First (3, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year ago | (#43933693)

Its clear, even from the summary, that the authorities want to disable specific functions on the phone so that calls to emergency services will still work.

Re: First (2)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about a year ago | (#43933757)

Or even, without freak occurences such as stuck accelerators: if you get into a normal accident, and the crash jostles the sensor that says "car in motion" in such a way that it thinks it is still in motion, neither you nor any bystander will be able to call 911 due to that jammer.

Re: First (0, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43933941)

If you dick with your phone while driving you deserve to lose your driving privilege. Don't punish passengers, nor drivers who use passengers as navcom.

The actions of the many often outweight the actions of the few. The problem is that 99.9% of the population are less safe because of cell phone distractions.

I'm not one of those people, I don't use my phone while driving. I often use it as a passenger as you've described, as does my wife. However, you, my wife, and I using it safely ... and all of slashdot too for that matter ... does not make a big enough dent statistically to even mention, so while I shouldn't have to give up my freedom to use it properly ... its impractical and ignorant to pretend you're going to solve this any other way. To top it off, it really isn't that important that you be able to use your phone while the car is moving. You will survive, just like everyone else did before cell phones existed.

Re:First (4, Insightful)

sosume (680416) | about a year ago | (#43933615)

Are you ready for a government owned black box in your car which measures your speed and location, taps into your cell phone, monitors your private messages and internet behaviour? Probably illegal to tamper with, all in the interest of the children?

Re:First (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933695)

Are you ready for a government owned black box in your car which measures your speed and location, taps into your cell phone, monitors your private messages and internet behaviour?

That's called a "smartphone"...

Re:First (0)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43933885)

No, I'm not up for nut job ideas, and as I said, I normally wouldn't agree with this, but if my choice is to give up a little freedom in order to not be killed by the 300 million morons that are allowed to drive in this country, then I'll do it.

I'd rather be alive and slightly less free, than dead and anything. I'd rather not be less free, but the morons of the nation are scary to me than the loss of freedom.

Re:First (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933943)

So, in conclusion, you're not up for it but you are.

Re:First (5, Interesting)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43933617)

I absolutely agree, but the focus on phones has got to go. We are not trying to ban the use of phones in cars, we are trying to get the driver to pay attention to driving, and phones (right now) seem to be the biggest culprit. Banning phones in cars still leaves a million - 1 ways to distract a driver.

Rather than try to restrict the near endless possibilities for distraction, we need technology to ensure a driver's attention on the road. For instance, my phone (S3G) has a rather cool feature called Smart Stay; it basically uses the front camera to detect if I'm still looking at the screen, to help decide if the screen should lock.

This feature could be made to work for cars as well, detecting where the driver has his/her attention and (akin to seat belts) make an annoying sound, throttle the engine or whatever else seems to be an appropriate for a driver not paying attention. Obviously work needs to be done, but the general idea is there.

car manufacturer lobbying (3, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43933803)

they want to sell in car phones and entertainment systems.

disable all tablets, smartphones etc in car-> you have to buy bolted in tablets from the car manufacturer.

Re:First (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933937)

What you're talking about is what we already have on trains and boats (we don't have it on planes because planes constantly have at least two crew on duty fiddling with stuff). On trains, because they're run by huge corporations that would be guilty of killing their passengers and goodness knows what else, the system are universally used and function well, the corporation wants its employees to know that if they switch off the safety device they will lose their jobs, end of. I've never read of an accident that involved these systems failing or not serving their purpose. On boats, most of which are owned by small companies thousands of miles from the vessels themselves, they are nearly universally switched off or "broken" and so they have had very little safety impact with constant "inattention" accidents where nobody was looking where the boat was going (often they were asleep, drunk or even not on the fucking bridge).

Now, guess which one of those scenarios most resembles a privately owned car? If they install this car owners will turn it off or it will get "broken" and nothing will change.

Re:First (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933969)

(often they were asleep, drunk or even not on the fucking bridge).

Where do I sign up. I'm an American. I don't drink and I can stay awake for 18 hrs no sweat, probably 72 in an emergency.

P.S. I have a very good attention span for monitoring instruments. I played MMO's. I also have skills in pvp so my situational awareness is top notch.

P.S.P.S. I promise not to post on slashdot while on the bridge doing my job.

Re:First (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year ago | (#43933665)

Maybe this could be used as punishment for drivers who are caught using phones? There have been proposals for breath testing systems to be fitted to cars which are owned by people convicted of DUI offences. Similarly, if you get caught with a phone, phones will no longer work in your car.

Re:First (0)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43933911)

Getting caught with your phone generally happens because you had a half finished text message on your phone when the fire department pulled your body out of the wreckage using the jaws of life. Its too late at that point, because you've already ran into my car and killed my child.

Re:First (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year ago | (#43933947)

I take your point. I ride a bike myself and my phone stays in my back pack. Currently I almost zero enforcement for the use of mobile phones so additional ways to penalise their use may be helpful.

Re:First (5, Insightful)

julesh (229690) | about a year ago | (#43933677)

Pissing off a few geeks is worth it.

The problem they'll find is that it isn't really the geeks that'll be pissed off by this. This almost certainly won't apply to public transport (including, I would suspect, licensed public service taxis), so other than people who are actually driving (and therefore perhaps should be restricted from using their phones while the vehicle is in motion) it is the passengers in private vehicles who are most likely to be effected. Who are the people who are frequently passengers in private vehicles and who make above-average use of mobile phones? There are a couple of classes that spring to mind:

1. Business leaders (the kind who can pay for a chauffeur)
2. Politicians (the kind who can convince the state to pay for a chauffeur for them, usually on the premise that it leaves them free to attend to important business while in transit)

This, therefore, is not going to happen.

Re:First (4, Informative)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about a year ago | (#43933785)

2. Politicians (the kind who can convince the state to pay for a chauffeur for them, usually on the premise that it leaves them free to attend to important business while in transit)

Nah, they'll just vote an exemption for themselves [about.com]

Re:First (2, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43933709)

What I want is for people to not fuck with their phones (or anything else!) while driving ... Other people don't seem to be that intelligent, and telling them why its unsafe doesn't seem to be working.

What I want is for people not to be arrogant pricks like you; that ain't gonna happen any time soon either.

Re:First (2, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43933915)

Really? So you think the general population ... most of which are using their cell phones while driving are smart enough to make intelligent decisions themselves ... even though the whole reason this is being brought up is due to the overwhelming evidence to the contrary?

I'm an arrogant prick because the evidence says that people are too stupid to pay attention to the road?

Really?

Re:First (4, Informative)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#43933765)

I must ask, why do you NEED an internet connection in your car?

Because I am a good father. The internet connection in the car allowed me to take a six week road trip with my wife and son. A trip that simply could not have happened if I couldn't have worked during the drive time between stops. The trip was both educational and an amazing bonding experience.

Re:First (0)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43933907)

You do realize that people made road trips and had entertainment well before smart phones, tablets or even the Internet was invented, right?

You really will survive without it. Believe it or not, there was a time when there was no Internet at all! Yet, Human beings still made road trips, and raised their children without killing them. Even were capable of educating themselves.

I'm really not sure how the tablet your kid is staring at while you were focused on driving helped. You were focused on driving right? Or are you telling us that you are exactly the problem that needs correcting?

Re:First (2)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about a year ago | (#43933767)

Pissing off a few geeks is worth it.

You Sir are one of the reasons I think the Second Amendment is worth keeping

Re:First (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#43933577)

How exactly does one distinguish between HTTP traffic of social media or messaging protocols and "allowed" traffic if those protocols may change or new ones can be invented at any minute?

Re:First (2)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#43933589)

passenger - do you want to restrict them, too?

Passengers know when to shut up.

People on the other side of the phone dont.

Re:First (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#43933645)

passenger - do you want to restrict them, too?

Passengers know when to shut up. People on the other side of the phone dont.

So you wouldn't restrict playing with your passenger's buttons when driving.

Re:First (1)

julesh (229690) | about a year ago | (#43933685)

I think he meant to ask whether passengers be restricted from using their phones, not whether they shouldn't be allowed to talk to the driver. Although...

Re:First (2)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#43933773)

Passengers know when to shut up.

No. They don't.

this wouldn't be needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933659)

this wouldn't be needed if you drivers didn't think that the laws applied only to other people.

Re:First (5, Insightful)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year ago | (#43933669)

passenger - do you want to restrict them, too?

The Prius does indeed restrict the front seating passenger from using most of its center panel functions when the car is moving, which is really idiotic because it's smart enough to know there is a passenger in the seat (since it will complain loudly when that same passenger doesn't put his seat belt on).

Al Capone (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933793)

Want? It's not a question of "want". It's a question of safety, expediency and convenience.

Why, next time I stuff someone in the trunk of my car I won't even have to find and take their phones. Just think how much time and hassle this would save.

Re:First (1)

Tomsk70 (984457) | about a year ago | (#43933951)

If the car detects more than one person in the front seats, viola

Hahaha no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933485)

This will happen right after all major platforms are rendered unable to pirate content or run an alternative OS.

Can't be done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933489)

Cell phones more often than not come with GPS. GPS is used primarily in cars. Reasonable implementations of GPS uses a data connection to get map data on an as-needed basis. A data connection can be used to make phone calls. I.e. the only way to forbid cell phones while driving is to end net neutrality.

Then there's still the bit where passengers might want to make phone calls or stream video. Either you disable those too (for no reason whatsoever) or the driver will be able to use their phone.

Long story short, good luck with that.

Re:Can't be done. (2, Informative)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#43933513)

Actually a reasonable GPS system already stores the map internally......just sayin. The only reason we have to stream maps is up until now we couldnt fit them on the device trivially.

Re:Can't be done. (3, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#43933583)

Modern GPS devices also pull in real-time traffic information to route it's users around traffic jams, accidents or other problems.

Re:Can't be done. (1)

AaronW (33736) | about a year ago | (#43933675)

While the system in my car does this, it also downloads satellite imagry and road conditions in real time from the Internet as I am driving.

Re:Can't be done. (2)

julesh (229690) | about a year ago | (#43933733)

Fitting a map of a reasonably sized area on a mobile device has been possible for a very long time. For instance, the UK section of OpenStreetMap is reasonably complete and takes up only around 500MB, which has been easily within the capabilities of a low cost mobile device for 5+ years now, which is to say longer than most map streaming services have been around.

The only real reason for streaming is that it lets people download and install an app quickly, and provides for seamless map updates. Neither of these reasons is going away any time soon.

Re:Can't be done. (2)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about a year ago | (#43933801)

We could fit the map on the device. Even my old Tomtom has enough memory for the entire maps of Europe.

However, an internet connection is great for getting up to date maps...

And if you are in an accident. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933501)

But your is under the impression it is still moving, you are trapped and cant call for help

Re:And if you are in an accident. (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#43933651)

But your is under the impression it is still moving, you are trapped and cant call for help

If that were the only problem you could just allow "emergency calls only", as many phones do when locked anyway.

Driver not the only one in the car (4, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about a year ago | (#43933505)

So how would this proposed system distinguish between the driver using a phone and a passenger using a phone? It's not reasonable to forbid every passenger (who's not driving and has no need to not be distracted) from using any device while someone else is driving.

Re:Driver not the only one in the car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933545)

Especially if the passengers are on a bus.

Re:Driver not the only one in the car (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933579)

This is about the US, not whatever country you live in where people drive with passengers. That's why the story has a nice US flag next to it. The idea that passengers would be inconvenienced is laughable, it's not like anyone ever drives with other people in their car.

Re:Driver not the only one in the car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933697)

Forever Alone?

It's not like people don't have children and go places with them.
Or parents that can't drive themselves for some reason or other.
Or go out drinking with buddies and have the one designated driver.
Or colleagues that need to go do some work "off site" ...do they still have carpools in the good ol' US of A?
Or yound drivers that go with their friends who can't drive yet, and it's way cool to go places sans-parents

In some places of the world they don't let you put the phone to your ear and bluetooth sets aren't allowed, or anything that "touches the driver's body", so people have their phones connected by bluetooth to the car stereo and it's almost the same as listening to the radio. I don't like that because I don't feel at ease with work people listening in of family stuff and viceversa, so as a personal rule I don't touch the phone while I drive, but ymmv.

Nice US flag there, welcome to teh interwebz.

Re:Driver not the only one in the car (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about a year ago | (#43933809)

This is about the US...it's not like anyone ever drives with other people in their car.

... maybe if they want to take advantage of the HOV lanes? (ok, ok, I know, a blow-up doll [youtube.com] has no use for a cell phone...)

Re:Driver not the only one in the car (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933591)

Don't forget the fact that it won't be able to distinguish between the driver using a phone and the driver using a phone because he has an emergency and need to.

Re:Driver not the only one in the car (3, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#43933605)

If you block the kids in the back seat too, you might increase the driver's distraction considerably.

Re:Driver not the only one in the car (2)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43933691)

So, what is really needed is a one seated car with no gadgets installed and which block cell phone traffic. CityEl [wikipedia.org] , this one has 1 seat and not enough room for you to actually move your hands, let alone use your phone - and certainly no room for kids.

Re:Driver not the only one in the car (2)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about a year ago | (#43933827)

not enough room for you to actually move your hands

Yeah, hands can be pretty distracting too... especially if you spot a hot stud on the sidewalk...

Re:Driver not the only one in the car (3, Funny)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43933759)

They will pass a law requiring the kids not to distract the driver! That will fix it! Right after the law requiring kids not to scream their lungs out on flights! It's just that evil conservatives are currently blocking this legislation right now because big business and gun lobby!

Re:Driver not the only one in the car (1)

macklin01 (760841) | about a year ago | (#43933745)

Furthermore, the passenger might be helping with the navigation, answering those critical emails, etc ... to help the driver keep focused on the road.

Cut off our nose to spite our face ... (1, Redundant)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43933507)

And I don't mean NHTSA or DOT here, I mean We, The People.

The messed up part is not that they are doing this ... it's that we are so freaking stupid and selfish that they have to do this.

No one driving their own car is so important that they even need to take phone calls while driving, let alone texts or other crap. People who are that important have drivers and assistants.

Its very sad that we've gotten ourselves as a country to be so oblivious to the world around us that the government has to step in and come up with ways to keep us from being morons when we step into a deadly weapon.

You can debate gun laws since the injuries caused by guns and nut jobs are relatively few and far between, so its at least worth discussing both sides of the equation. Even in America, and its craziest gun tote'n parts (which I've lived in), few people carry guns daily. On the other hand, everyone drives, and almost everyone texts/talks while driving, which is WAY more dangerous. Just look at the energy ratio alone! Most gun owners are not nutjobs ... drivers on the other hand seem to think its part of the requirements for the job.

I would like to stand up and yell that this is a ridiculous invasion of my personal space. It is a ridiculous invasion of my personal space.

Unfortunately, I have to side with NHTSA since I'd rather have my personal space invaded by a law than I would have it invaded by someone's ton and a half SUV because they were texting some cat picture instead of driving.

Re:Cut off our nose to spite our face ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933535)

it's that we are so freaking stupid and selfish that they have to do this.

They don't have to do this. It's not even feasible.

Re:Cut off our nose to spite our face ... (5, Insightful)

discord5 (798235) | about a year ago | (#43933755)

Unfortunately, I have to side with NHTSA since I'd rather have my personal space invaded by a law than I would have it invaded by someone's ton and a half SUV because they were texting some cat picture instead of driving.

I don't have much faith in solutions like this because it's one of those problems which are social problems, not technological ones. If we disregard the technological feasibility of this, for the sake of argument, we're going to have people who are going to look for ways to circumvent this measure (and they will find it, have no worries about that). On top of that, any car and phone which isn't equipped with such a system still allows for people to call/text while driving.

A much better solution to this type of problem in my opinion is to raise awareness, make the whole thing punishable with a fine and for repeat offenders include a revocation of the drivers license, and actively enforce it. In the beginning you'll have people who will blatantly ignore these measures, but once they start getting hit with fines most of them will stop. And just like with parking fines, you'll have people who blatantly ignore the law, as with any other kind of restriction they feel that doesn't apply to them, which is where the revocation of the license comes into place.

On my morning commute which often involves 20km/h freeway "happiness", I've seen plenty of people use non-technological means to distract them from the task at hand. People reading the newspaper while driving, doing crossword puzzles, having breakfast, doing their make-up, etc etc etc. Hell, I've even seen someone miss a green light because they were too busy playing with their kids (an admirable feat, just not in traffic). You don't solve those kinds of things with a bit of electronics in the dashboard.

It's not the calling and texting that is the problem, that's just a symptom of the underlying problem. The problem is that people aren't paying attention as they're hurtling down the road at breakneck speeds. There's no chip you can place in the dashboard that makes people pay attention to what they're doing.

Tech solution for a social problem (5, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#43933509)

They're doing it all wrong. You can't solve a social problem with technological features.

There's no way you can make a car that will stop someone from tapping on their ipad, or putting on their makeup.

If you try, they'll just get pissed off, disable the feature, and do it even more to spite you.

The solution is to fix the culture to make it socially unacceptable.

Have the law enforcement officers doing their job.

Jail time for any driver caught texting while in motion.

Re:Tech solution for a social problem (0)

abhisri (960175) | about a year ago | (#43933521)

You can easily solve a social problem with technological features. Just the approach needs to change. Government only needs to push for the switch to autonomous cars instead.

Re:Tech solution for a social problem (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#43933795)

Agreed. The sad part is that there is a high correlation between the people that argue that they 'like to drive' so don't want autonomous cars, and the people that think cell phones are evil.

Re:Tech solution for a social problem (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#43933639)

Jail time won't fix it. 1st offense you are required to affix stickers to the front, sides, and back reading "Caution: Moron". Second offense you get a flashing strobe and a loudspeaker that repeats "DuuuuuH!" at 100 db. Third offense, they affix a giant 3d rendering of a horses ass to the hood and trunk. If none of that gets the point across, you lose your license for 10 years.

Re:Tech solution for a social problem (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#43933683)

First offense: Cruel, unusual. (I can provide citations.)

Second offense: Noise ordinance violation.

Third offense: Cruel, unusual. (Again.)

Fourth offense: 10 years suspension? I'd rather they spend a week at Ft. Leavenworth making big rocks into little rocks. After that, two weeks. Then four.

Re:Tech solution for a social problem (3, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#43933661)

They're doing it all wrong. You can't solve a social problem with technological features.

I don't know ... deodorant does a pretty good job

Re:Tech solution for a social problem (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43933679)

The solution is to fix the culture to make it socially unacceptable.

It worked with phones in movie theatres so maybe some push to put phones in silent mode in the glove box could do something.

Re:Tech solution for a social problem (1)

Deluvianvortex (2908365) | about a year ago | (#43933715)

tbh I don't give a fuck about people texting in movies anymore.

Dumb, Dumber and now what? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43933775)

RING RING! Clue calling. Do you understand now?

This place is getting really depressing when you have to explain every little thing as if it's to a three year old.

"Pass it to a passenger" (1)

stiggle (649614) | about a year ago | (#43933873)

If you're driving and you "need" to be contactable - then give your phone to a passenger and they can handle your calls for you.
As they're in the car with you then they can see what you're doing and so distract you less while keeping the caller occupied.

Re:Tech solution for a social problem (1)

Deluvianvortex (2908365) | about a year ago | (#43933707)

There's no way you can make a car that will stop someone from tapping on their ipad, or putting on their makeup.

faraday cage built into the frame of the car. Simple.

Re:Tech solution for a social problem (2)

richlv (778496) | about a year ago | (#43933877)

There's no way you can make a car that will stop someone from ... putting on their makeup.

faraday cage built into the frame of the car.

Simple.

...an example of techies failing to understand why social problems are hard to solve with technical means ;)

Let's go even further (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933519)

It's 2014. You enter your car. Your watch stops -- it poses too much of a distraction. Mandatory reaction time enhancing drugs are automatically injected into your blood as you turn the ignition.

The car revs once, but doesn't move. A breathalyzer test is administered automatically by the car, followed by a urine test and a routine vision screening. Small electrical signals are passed through the chair to test your reflexes while a brain scan is run to check for any impure thoughts or intentions.

Finally, drive mode is unlocked. Your maximum speed is set by your insurance provider -- a leisurely 10mph. An artificial intelligence watches you drive your car via. video link to monitor your driving patterns. Your cellphone is disabled.

Time to hit the open road.

Re:Let's go even further (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43933581)

Time to hit the open road

too many distractions... all roads will be covered in bland tunnels to ensure you behave like the robot they want you to be

Re:Let's go even further (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43933741)

The first Solaris movie really did predict the future!
For those who miss the reference the 1972 sci-fi movie Solaris has a very long tunnel driving scene (twenty minutes?) with no actors in shot and no dialogue. Despite that it's a very good movie based loosely on probably the least filmable but readable book I've ever read.

Apparently the director was sent to Japan to shoot some hi-tech stuff for the movie, ran out of time, so set the camera up in the back of a car on the way to the airport so he'd have something to show for an expensive trip.

Re:Let's go even further (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43933635)

i wish my watch stopped whilst i was having sex

Sounds useful (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933529)

If I were a cop, I'd be happy to use this tech to stop everyone from talking about or recording me assault people. Imagine how useful this technology would be to dictators. Well done Obama. Not only have you just created a data trove for organized crime to blackmail every US citizen, you are about to create the technology that helps dictators repress rebels.

Re:Sounds useful (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43933671)

it just adds another aspect to a fire sale

Chauffeur's (4, Funny)

zippo01 (688802) | about a year ago | (#43933533)

I think getting everyone a personal Chauffeur is the answer. Fixes the unemployment problem and the cell phone problem. Well other then the chauffeur texting but that's easily solved with electric shocks.

Hooray for the nanny state! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933555)

Keep voting Democrat, folks. They will regulate us to death and tax us into the poor house to staff all the new agencies they create to tell us how to live our lives.

Absolutely, why not.. I will go along with this (1)

saloomy (2817221) | about a year ago | (#43933563)

I will allow MY car and MY phone to prohibit ME from doing something right after those of us with guns allow the feds to have the gun "disable" itself when outside a "hunting zone/rifle range". Yup... any day now.

Re:Absolutely, why not.. I will go along with this (1)

richlv (778496) | about a year ago | (#43933887)

will that come before or after you will surrender a bottle of water at airport and take off your shoes, then step into a nudescanner ? ;)

emergency calls allowed? (2)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43933575)

can you still call 911 if your phone gets disabled and you're involved in some sort of accident (or you witness one)?

Meh. (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#43933621)

I guess I'll keep driving and maintaining my existing cars until I die.

(And for the record: I'm OK with this; my cars suit me perfectly.)

Dear NHTSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933655)

Fuck you.

Already possible (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43933657)

Step 1: Phone user puts phone on roof while putting other stuff in the car.
Step 2: Phone user forgets about phone and reverses out.
Step 3: The reversing car disables the phone that slides off the roof into the path of the wheels.

OK, so it's a surprisingly common and hilarious failure mode for laptops but I'm sure some phones have also died that way even though they usually live in pockets.

use a kinect instead (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933727)

It can detect fingermovements... sms prob solved
Could also detect raised middlefinger, a seizure, a fight in the car, driver falling asleep ...

won't someone think of the children (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933777)

How about mandating an opaque, soundproof privacy screen between the front and back seats. I see way more people being distracted by their kids than their phones. At least if they're yacking on the phone they're looking where they're going.

Lol... Good Luck With That (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933797)

I don't understand why people aren't buying these cars! Sure, youtube's front page has three different videos mocking the CEOs and politicians and administration officials responsible for these cars that disable people's cell phones as they drive past, but surely the public will tire of them soon. In the meantime, what am I supposed to say at the next stockholder's meeting?!

For pity's sake... (3, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year ago | (#43933807)

Not.
A.
Technology.
Problem.


Make using a mobile phone punishable by confiscating the car immediately (as it is in the UK for driving uninsured) and a mandatory appearance in court, punishment being revocation of license.

This needs to be applied evenly (1)

waferbuster (580266) | about a year ago | (#43933811)

Most police patrol cars have multiple displays for the driver to easily read information (radar gun displaying speed of oncoming vehicles, license plate scanner scrolling information about the registration status of nearby cars, laptop, etc). If *my* car is going to be required to block any distractions while I am driving, then surely the public safety officers need to be similarly coddled and babysat.
This is a stupid idea.

Re:This needs to be applied evenly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933865)

Stupid is not the right word I think. It is dumbing down the all most all for the questionable benefit of the few.

Re:This needs to be applied evenly (1)

stiggle (649614) | about a year ago | (#43933889)

and most/all of that equipment is used when the patrol car is stationary and doesn't require operator input (typing, etc) they're passive display. Most sensible law enforcement deploy cops in pairs - one to drive and the other to monitor & operate the tech.

Wow. How stupid. (1)

DustPuppySnr (899790) | about a year ago | (#43933817)

Just last week, a woman was driving next to me and, I kid you not, was writing in a notebook on here steering wheel. Just fine these people into oblivion and remove their licences.

Why blame the tool for the fault of the user? (1)

Camael (1048726) | about a year ago | (#43933871)

The root cause of this problem is that car drivers do not feel compelled to leave their phones alone while driving.

Unless you change this mindset, any artificial technological means of compulsion will only be despised, circumvented and rendered useless while incurring additional unnecesary costs as well as greatly inconveniencing non-drivers.

The key here is that drivers call/text while driving for convenience - they want to transmit a message NOW to save time rather than wait until the car stops rolling. To address this problem, they should make the consequences of making that call/sending that message even more inconvenient than doing so. One way would perhaps be hefty well-enforced penalties such as loss of licence to drive, suspension of right to reapply for a licence for 3 years or more, imprisonment for all cases involving accidents... you get the idea. If it seeps into popular culture that using phones while driving = loss of driving rights, the problem ought to decrease over time.

I'm not advocating fines because they don't work. It's also useless passing such laws if they're not enforced.

I also favor the immediate suspension of the right to drive upon arrest (not conviction) until the case is decided. This huge inconvenience alone will make people sit up and pay attention.

Are these extreme? Yes, but its preferable to having your family members die on the road because some sexting driver was careless and watching his lawyer walk him off with a "It was an unfortunate accident, he didn't mean it, nobody was to blame" defence.

 

Suppose.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933875)

My car lost breaks and electronic speed doesn't go down or shut off (already happened to a woman with a Toyota). How would this person call 911?

And NSA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43933931)

...want to know where you go, and with whom.

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