Last month, AT&T launched a public service campaign to educate teens on the dangers of texting and driving. Now, several software companies are developing applications to actually deter or prevent people from using their phone while in the driver's seat.
According to the Associate Press, Drive Safely Corp. wants to use built-in GPS chips to detect when a device is moving faster than 15 miles per hour. The phone will then flash a series of numbers and letters that the user has to match on the keypad in order to unlock the phone. This assumes that drivers won't be able to match the sequence from behind the wheel.
Other companies like ZoomSafer, TxtBlocker, CellSafety and Textecution are developing or already providing GPS-based services like Drive Safely's, which either hold incoming texts until the end of the car ride or block users from writing outgoing messages.
But these apps only work on certain phones and aren't always able to figure out whether the user is actually driving. Plus, determined texters may try to bypass the tech obstacles, making driving situations even more dangerous. Some developers are talking about installing a device in vehicles rather than running apps over cell phones, but since no government regulation has been set, the decision to utilize these services is all in the hands of consumers.
The hope is that people will just refrain from texting from behind the wheel, but as cell phone related accidents continue to rise, the need for technological precautions becomes more apparent. If you were an app developer, what kind of service would you create to discourage people from texting and driving? Maybe you already have an app that works for you. If so, tell us about it in the comments below.