New device makes texting while driving impossible

Using RFID technology, the tool stops distracted driving by "jamming" the driver's mobile phone when a car is in motion.

Sneaking a peek at your smartphone while on the road might seem innocent enough, but studies show that texting while driving can make the risk of a crash an astounding 23 times more likely. The increasingly prevalent but incredibly dangerous activity is even risky enough to be considered comparable to drunk driving, but it's still not illegal everywhere.

Now, however, a group of engineers at Anna University of Technology in Chennai, India has developed a system that removes the temptation of incoming texts and calls all together.

Using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, the group created a prototype system that can detect whether a car is in motion and if the car's driver is attempting to use a phone. If both such instances are occurring, the system triggers a low-range mobile jammer to stop the driver's phone from operating while doing nothing to the phones of the car's other passengers.

Unlike other apps aimed at the same goal, the system in questions blocks only the transmission of data from the driver's phone, allowing other riders to continue their conversations.

So how to get people to use the device? The engineers are hopeful for future state or national laws that would require auto manufacturers to install the equipment, much like requirements for seat belts and air bags.

The system is described in full detail in the International Journal of Enterprise Network Management.

[via Popular Science via Smithsonian]

Image: Oregon Department of Transportation/Flickr

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