Using the phone while driving has been considered one of the major causes of road accidents and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has a plan to solve the problem.
Authorities have raised more concern about drivers who use their phones while driving, following the case of Ashley Kubiak who killed two people while on her phone. She was driving a Ram pickup when her vehicle hit an SUV. The accident killed the driver, one passenger and one of the children in the vehicle was left paralyzed. Apple believes it has the solution that can help prevent such catastrophes.
The company filed for a patent in 2008 for technology that locks out drivers from their phone when they are driving. The patent was granted to the firm in 2014. It uses sensors to determine whether the vehicle is on the move and whether the driver is using the phone. Once the handset determines that the vehicle is moving, it disables functions such as texting.
“Texting while driving has become so widespread that it is doubtful that law enforcement will have any significant effect on stopping the practice,” stated Apple.
The technology in the patent seems is appealing but it is currently not in use. Its application could have a significantly positive impact by reducing the number of accidents that would have otherwise been caused by people texting while driving.
“The technology exists – we just don’t have the stomach to implement it,” said president of the National Transportation Council, Deborah Hershman.
Many firms believe that blocking a driver’s ability to text is an unreliable solution. The argument is that shutting down the driver’s phone from accessing some services would most likely also interfere with service delivery to the passengers. It also seems highly unlikely that people would accept having their service blocked.
Apple stock closed the recent trading session at $112.71, down by $1.91 or 1.67% compared to the price of the stock in the previous close.