Apple Inc. (AAPL) files patent for blocking texting while driving

Posted Apr 23, 2014

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) wants to help save people from the dangers of texting while driving. On Tuesday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an Apple patent that is called “Driver handheld computing device lock-out.” 

The patent outlines a way to use detection software for cutting people off from texting while driving. Apple would be able to detect the motion of the driver and analyze the scenery surrounding the driver.

The motion detector would use the onboard sensors in the phone to tell if the car is moving beyond a certain speed. And the scenery analyzer uses the camera in the phone to determine if the device is being held by the driver. If one of the detector determines that the person is driving, then a lock-out mechanism would be activated. This would disable texting and other phone functions.

Another idea is to have the ignition key send a signal to your phone to disable texting. While the ideas specified above could be designed by Apple alone, the ignition key would rely on some work from auto companies.

Apple recently launched a new automotive service called CarPlay, which allows you to use your iOS device distraction-free using voice commands. Researching new ways to increase safety while behind the wheel is the natural next step.