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Apple Patent Could Improve Driver Safety by Limiting Distractions

Apple Patent Could Improve Driver Safety by Limiting Distractions

 Source:CNET | Publication date: Mar 30, 2017 | Author(s):Andrew Krok

A new patent granted to Apple for “Detecting Controllers in Vehicles Using Wearable Devices” could help improve driver safety by reducing distractions.

The Apple patent involves the use of a motion sensor in devices like the Apple Watch to detect if the wearer is driving a vehicle. If the angular velocity measured by the sensor reaches a certain threshold, the direction of gravity is estimated and used to determine if it is likely due to the turning of a vehicle’s steering wheel. In such cases, the number of notifications transmitted to the device is then limited.

While there is no guarantee that the patent will result in technology being implemented in real devices, the ability to detect if a driver is using a mobile device could help reduce incidents of distracted driving and eliminate fatalities.

Safety advocates have lobbied technology companies for years to develop a means of blocking device features when a vehicle is travelling above certain speeds without limiting access for passengers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, distracted driving claimed 3,477 lives and resulted in 391,000 injuries in 2015.

Read full article at: CNET »





 
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  1. mrickan
    This approach is based on the assumption that drivers still abide by the "10 & 2" operation of the steering wheel or use their watch hand most of the time.

    Mobile devices really need to pair with vehicles and simply disable certain functions based on the proximity of the device to the seats - in certain cases the driver isn't always the focal point our source of the distraction.
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