September 12, 2005
Motorola develops ‘polite' phone which analyzes driving conditions
With concerns mounting over the safety of cell phone use while driving, Motorola's Driving Simulator Lab in Tempe is testing mobile phones that can analyze driving conditions and avoid distracting the driver. The East Valley Tribune reports.
"On the left, Mike Gardner, Motorola Labs director of intelligent systems research, holds a "polite" phone while in a driving simulator. The phone uses software to sense when you are driving or parked and reacts accordingly.
B>Gardner will make a presentation on the project at a forum on driver distraction in October in Toronto, Canada, but no decision has been made by the company on when, or even whether, to make the technology commercially available, he said.
The software programmed into the phone can detect if the car is parked or cruising or in complex driving situations.
-- If the car is parked, all incoming calls are are allowed through to the speaker phone. It also senses if the driver has entered the car and automatically transfers any ongoing calls to the speaker phone.
-- If the car is cruising on the highway, the only calls that are accepted are those from a pre-programmed phone book list — the ones the user wants to go through. All other incoming calls are routed to voice mail.
-- If the telephone detects the driver is frequently braking and moving the steering wheel — an indication of complex driving conditions — all calls are routed to voice mail. It will retrieve those on the driving list when the driving situation clears.
-- If the phone senses an air bag deployment, it will automatically initiate a call to a predefined number such as 911 or a loved one with an accident alert and location".
This is an interesting application which I hadn't read about before. But a search for "Mike Gardner Motorola" reveals that he has been working on cell phones and cars at least since 2002. cf pdf document Sensors that make cars safer.
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