December 9, 2011
New System Shuts Phones Down While Driving
Scientists have developed a system that will make drivers unable to talk on their cell phones while driving.
A team at Stevens Institute of Technology and Rutgers University in New Jersey have created a system that shuts down a driver's phone without affecting other people in the vehicle.
The system uses a phone's Bluetooth connection and a vehicle's speaker to detect if a driver is using their phone while driving.
The system then measures the acoustic signals emitted from the stereo and the proximity of the phone to the Bluetooth receiver.
By measuring the phone's distance between the speakers, the phone can estimate the distance from the car's center.
The researchers found that this method can determine over 95 percent of the time if the phone is in the possession of the driver or a passenger. If it is in the possession of the driver, then the phone can decide if it needs to shut down services.
However, if the phone is placed in the cupholder, the algorithm accuracy drops down to 80 percent.
There are currently anti-distracted driving technologies that use apps that run in memory and use the phone's GPS to determine if a user is in a vehicle or not. But, with this method, a user's phone can still be turned off whether they are driving or just riding in a taxi or on public transportation.
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