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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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2008 @ 2:45pm

    I would make the assumption that it is going to require software download onto the phone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Elohssa, 18 Dec 2008 @ 2:57pm

    Sad...

    We are the most innovative culture on the planet, and THIS is what we focus our efforts on.

    I'm signing up for VEHMT right now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2008 @ 3:18pm

    "Singling out teens, when plenty of adults talk on their phones while driving, doesn't seem totally right,.."

    Because more teen automotive deaths every year have phones as a major contributing cause of the accident/death compared to adult automotive deaths

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2008 @ 5:42pm

      Re:

      You obviously haven't been out on a major highway then. While teens might use cell phones a tad more, adult drivers not only use cell phones a TON, they also do tons of other tasks equally if not more dangerous while going 60, 70+ mph and having almost not care for anybody else on the road.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Vincent Clement, 19 Dec 2008 @ 12:03pm

      Re:

      Care to cite a source?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ollie, 18 Dec 2008 @ 3:19pm

    no good

    What about people who are -not- driving? kind of useless if passengers are unable to make calls! This thing needs a way to know who is the driver before disabling the phone. Dont know about you but I have been a passenger many a time trying to organise something while on the way to somewhere.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Bdragun, 18 Dec 2008 @ 5:00pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Tiff, 21 Dec 2008 @ 1:53am

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lee, 22 Dec 2008 @ 7:24pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark, 18 Dec 2008 @ 3:22pm

    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.

    Mark

    4) Even if

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2008 @ 4:59pm

    Software Download

    Once again there is probably a software.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2008 @ 6:32pm

    Question for the auto ins folks

    I assume that auto insurance would be offerred at a discount if this device were to be used (prior story). Would a similar discount be offerred if the driver did not own a cell pohone ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2008 @ 7:27pm

      Re: Question for the auto ins folks

      Hhmm... "ah no i don't own a cell phone. dose this mean i get the discount?"
      I see problems ahead.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Marcie Tusek, 5 Feb 2009 @ 11:36am

    not texing while driving

    Yes i agree that teens should not text while driving not only because they can kill them selfs but they can cause dizzyness.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Taylor Heston, 24 Sep 2009 @ 9:56am

    discounts auto insurance

    auto insurance would be offered at a discount if this device were to be used =. A similar discount should be oferred if the driver did not own a cell phone at all. c'mon, what's this mean?? I've used a great company for insurance for many years and they do offer this kind of discount.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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