Anti-Driving-While-Yakking Tech Made Even Better By Adding Big Brother Insurance

from the two-for-one-special-on-things-you-don't-need-or-want dept

Researchers from the University of Utah — home of our favorite ban-yakking-while-driving research center — have come up with a new device they say can stop teens from using their phones while driving (via Phone Scoop). The device envelops a car key, and releasing the key to operate the car activates a radio in the device, which the researchers say forces the driver’s phone into “driving mode,” which only allows calls to 911 and pre-approved numbers, such as the driver’s parents. Like earlier, similar ideas, there are a few bugbears: we’re unaware of any phone that features such a mode, and it’s unclear exactly why it’s okay to be distracted by a phone call to one’s parents while driving, but not by calls to other people. Singling out teens, when plenty of adults talk on their phones while driving, doesn’t seem totally right, but never fear: the company commercializing the technology wants to hook up with insurance companies to use the device as a tool for Big Brother-style surveillance insurance that collects all sorts of data about drivers’ behavior, then using the data to calculate insurance rates. While some insurance companies have shown interest in the anti-chatting technology, consumers have shown zero interest in Big Brother insurance, likely relegating this latest idea to the dustbin.

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Comments on “Anti-Driving-While-Yakking Tech Made Even Better By Adding Big Brother Insurance”

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Bdragun says:

Re: no good

If people would get thier crap together before they get into a car to drive the roads would be way more safe.Instead of organizing going down the road at 60mph driver or passenger,then there would be 2 sets of eyes on the road and your surroundings making you more aware of what you are actually doing.I say jam the hell out of cell phones,pdas and any other device that will cause one not to focus on the task of safe driving.

Tiff says:

Re: Re: no good

Alright kids remember, on this trip to grandma’s there will be NO reading of dinosaur books. There will be NO napping. ALL EYES ON THE ROAD.

Dude, lighten up. The driver is the only person in control of the vehicle and if you think a backseat driving passenger is less than one using an electronic device, reading a map, etc you need to get a grip.

But then, people tend to act like idiots when talking about cell phones so no surprise here.

Lee says:

Re: invalid criticism

The device only turns off the driver’s cell phone because the key fob is a bluetooth device programmed to send a signal to the driver’s phone. Passengers’ phones are unaffected.

This new device is NOT like systems that use GPS to detect the phone’s speed of travel. Those indeed are unable to distinguish a car’s driver from a passenger in that car, a bus or train.

Mark says:

So easy to get around

This will never see the light of day. Too many ways to get around this and still get the insurance discount.

1) This device says authorized numbers can go through. Who controls how those numbers get in. If its the insured, then its pretty easy for all the contacts being entered as authorized.

2) If authorized numbers are entered in by the insurance company, then a call forwarding service would work (does Grant central do that). Just authroize the number that calls from the service would show as, and you get full access to your phone.

3) the parent can get the kid a new number after getting the insurance, and then not report the new number. How many peoples parents wouldn’t care.

4) If the parents do care and this does work, the kid could still use a friends phone when others are in the car.


4) Even if

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