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Cell Phone Block While Driving

Prevents people from using a cell phone by the driver while car is moving.
(+6, -6)
  [vote for,

This system is a device that prevents the driver of a car from using a cell phone while the car is moving. If the car is stopped for any reason (red light, parking, etc.) a cell phone will work. If in motion, a cell phone doesn't work. This works by installing a sensor to detect wheel motion and a cell phone jammer that is activated by the sensor. If a passenger wants to use a cell phone, there will be a button next to them they can hold down to disable the jammer. As soon as they let the button go though, the jammer reactivates. This prevents the driver from setting it to off to defeat it because one hand would have to be on the wheel and the other on the button. You can't hold a phone. The system also communicates to the phone via bluetooth or another phone-compatible interface. If the driver adds a headset to the phone, or one of those "phone to radio speakers" things, the system turns off to allow its use. It allows calls automatically in case of accident.
wolstech, Jun 01 2006

City considers total ban on cell phones while driving http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13088248/
[theircompetitor, Jun 02 2006]


po, Jun 01 2006

       this is hardly a new idea, nor is it really a good idea. Statistics already show that the real distraction is the conversation, even if it is hands free. But I would bet the distraction from two children in the back seat is much higher.
theircompetitor, Jun 01 2006

       I would think that the phone is more distracting because you want to use it, you'd rather not deal with the kids.
Jinbish, Jun 01 2006

       You would have to have extraordinary self control not to at least turn around when you're hearing their screams as they fight.   

       Most of that has been addressed by their further zombification using headrest tv displays, though :)
theircompetitor, Jun 01 2006

       Nice idea, but how will you ensure that the jammer affects only phones in the car? RF energy is difficult to herd, so the system you suggest would likely jam not only phones in the car, but also those around it for a radius dependent on local variables like reflection.
DocBrown, Jun 02 2006

       I think that to the extent possible, people should be left to govern their own lives. Concentrate on inventions that limit accidents, like blind spot notification, auto braking, etc.   

       While it is possible that a person on a cell phone can cause an accident and cause someone else harm, it's equally possible that someone reaching for a CD or a Twinkie, or someone dropping a cigarette in their crotch, or turning to yell at the kids, or sneezing would do same.   

       Given the recent Pentagon self-driving car trials and the self governing cruise-control features in the latest production cars, we're not that far from eliminating the inattentive driver problem all together.
theircompetitor, Jun 02 2006

       I disagree. I don't think that it's equally possible that a Twinkie will cause an accident. You don't hold a Twinkie to your ear while eating it - you can take a quick munch and put it down. Sneezing, or dropping lit cigarette are instantaneous events but holding a phone is more prolonged, deliberate choice to use only one hand on the wheel.   

       The use of a hands-free kit, however, is legal in the UK and means that the drver can continue to be physically in control of a vehicle. Of course, the conversation represents a distraction too - but at least the driver has two hands available.   

       This poses another challenge to this idea: what if the driver is using a phone with a hands-free kit?
Jinbish, Jun 02 2006

       My point, Jinbish, is that it has been statistically proven that hands free conversations are a distraction, so the current laws are misguided.   

       There are already sensors that can warn you if you appear to not be looking ahead, at least in popsci mags, even measuring wink ratios.   

       Would you support a wheel sensor that forced you to have both hands on the wheel at all times, goodbye Twinkie?   

       Obviously the technology for all of these things is in the realm of the implementable. I just believe that the best use of our resources is in making cars safer, and implementing autoreactive features that can take over for the driver -- not in limiting the driver's options.
theircompetitor, Jun 02 2006

       When I said in the realm of the implementable, I wasn't including the blowjob thing :)   

       See link.
theircompetitor, Jun 02 2006

       yep, hence my point.
theircompetitor, Jun 02 2006

       To [Jinbish]: My idea has in it (i think it says it), it disables the jammer if you use a headset, which is a hands free kit pretty much. Basically if you use anything that dlets you put both hands on the wheel, it is allowed.   

       To All: The Jammer is only jamming a four foot radius of the center of the car.
wolstech, Jun 02 2006

       Fair enough. How do you allow a passenger to use the phone?
Jinbish, Jun 02 2006

       passenger can't use the phone; busy giving blowjob
pigtails_and_ponies, Jun 03 2006

       \\Meanwhile, I'll use travel time to make calls. It's the most efficient use of my time\\ Granted, I was only half paying attention but I read that as "I'll use time travel to make calls" and it wasn't until a few anno's down that I realised that I'd probably misread it.   

       In my opinion, banning the potentially dangerous actions of fully autonomous and sober people is hard to justify. If there was a definite damage involved then I'd agree, but often the cost has to be measured against the benefit. Using a phone on a busy road whilst doing 70 is considerably more dangerous than on a quiet road or when you're crawling along in a traffic jam. Similarly I think people should be encouraged but not legally forced to use two hands when driving, and that applies as much in this scenario as the others that [theircompetitor] mentioned earlier.   

       Out of curiosity, how did you intend to implement this idea? Was it to be installed as standard in all new cars? In which case it would be several years before they would be commonplace enough to make a significant difference. Or an optional installation for the driver? In this scenario however, presumably the only ones who would go to the effort of getting and installing it, would be unlikely to use their phones in a car anyway. Or was it to be an mandatory installation by law? This is superior to the other scenarios, but would likely lead to resentment of the scheme.
hidden truths, Jun 03 2006

       If I were to actually work on implementing something like this, I would address it in the cell identification/switching algorithm in the phone itself, which should give you enough location data even without GPS to get a sense of speed -- no jammer required. Then, even if the carriers couldn't adjust the software dynamically -- and they can -- you'd be done within 2 years, given that the average phone is held for < 2 years.
theircompetitor, Jun 03 2006

       Indicating speed is one thing - connecting that with someone being a driver is another. There'd have to be a local aspect that evaluated the current role of the caller (car driver or passenger on a train).   

       I like the idea of a software solution though, in the device or from the network, rather than an RF jammer.
Jinbish, Jun 03 2006

       BTW, I'm pretty confident that having the person next to you on the phone is damn distracting :)
theircompetitor, Jun 03 2006

       destroy all cars, destroy all phones, grow carrots.
epicproblem, Jun 03 2006

       No, carrots are too distracting.
By the way, I've seen many a motorcyclist using a cell phone whilst riding with one hand. I almost had an accident, once, while I was taking a photo of one of them as I drove past.
Ling, Jun 03 2006

       This feature would be hacked upon by writers for bad action movies.
daseva, Jun 03 2006

       Referring back to [DocBrown]'s question, a Faraday cage is the answer. An ideal cage contains an overall charge that never fluctuates and is isolated from the outside world, regardless of sparks or discharges within. Maybe electromagnets embedded within the car body, triggered by the gas pedal. (The car radio antenna would continue to function, being outside the "cage".)
nayhem, Jun 03 2006

       //The car radio antenna would continue to function, being outside the "cage".//
Except when the signal is brought into the cage?
Ling, Jun 04 2006

       I saw it on a program just the other day. History and Future technology of the Automobile or something like that. They really ARE thinking of (or possibly already have worked out how to) letting the car decide to disable the cell phone's ability to recieve calls in certain traffic conditions.   

       & also, I think dropping a lit cigarrete is far worse than using a cell phone, distraction-wise. (I don't smoke in the car anymore).
Zimmy, Jun 05 2006

       Bun from me. As a cyclist who spends up to 20 hours on the road a week, I can't count the number of times some twit on their phone has drifted out of their lane and into me.   

       I've just moved to San Francisco from Melbourne, Australia. Talking on hand- held phones at home is illegal and most people seem to agree with it. Here in SF, it isn't and although I have no proof of cause and effect, I'm so-far having more trouble with dopey fools wandering all over the place in their cars while talking on the phone than I ever had at home.   

       That said, most problems seem to occur when picking up, calling or hanging up. While talking, people generally look ahead and are in a pretty steady state. It's when their eyes are off the road, they're hunting through a bag, they're dialing a number, or their putting the phone back in their bag that seems to cause the most problems.   

       Anything to get people concentrating on what they're doing and not killing me is a good thing.
danpat, Jun 05 2006

       [woltech], I hope you've patented the technology that will allow you to throw up a perfect 4ft radius cell bubble.

[nayhem], how would you implement an effective Faraday cage in a car with windows? Also, how would your cage discriminate between standard and emergency calls?
DocBrown, Jun 05 2006

       [UB], your guy, like me, has reached the age where he needs to turn down the radio to see better.   

       If half these annos are to be believed, the following should be banned:
Operating ICE unit while driving.
Operating heating controls while driving.
Opening windows while driving.
Operating a manual gearchange while driving.
Conversing with other occupants of the car (I'm just going to allow you to mentally append the "while driving" from now on).
Taking a drink of water from a sports bottle (waiting for someone to point out I should be using "whilst").
Eating carrots.
Picking nose.
Scratching head.
Getting head.
Using camera.
No, let's not go there.

       While some of these may be in the "fair enough" category, I can't help thinking that it may be easier just to make it illegal to drive dangerously, carelessly, or without due care and attention. Oh, wait...
egbert, Jun 06 2006

       //needs to turn down the radio to see better//
Well, some of the really powerful ICE systems do tend to blur the vision...
Ling, Jun 06 2006

       How does it diminish each year? Because you are likely to die anyway of old age??   

       In that case lying in bed would be the most riskiest thing to do (Mark Twain).
neelandan, Jun 06 2006

       Because the vehicles themselves are getting safer each year.
egbert, Jun 06 2006

       Wait. So I can sit in the backseat of the car and make a call while at a red light, but then my call is jammed once the car begins to move?   

       No, I'm confused. It's a jammer that only works against the passengers when the driver is driving? Oh, no, it's a jammer that the passenger in the backseat can defeat by pushing a button?
Noexit, Jun 06 2006

       Devices should be designed to allow, rather than to prevent, individual effectiveness. This Idea has more drawbacks than the ignition switch Intoxilyzer.
reensure, Jun 06 2006

       Read annos. Do you want me to DELETE the Idea?   

       I understand the problems. to noexit: yes you are correct. whats wrong is the part that it jams passengers. You can hold the button while on the phone to allow use.
wolstech, Jun 07 2006

       No! Don't delete it.   

       It's not a perfect idea - but it's an honest solution that has sparked debate. That's the point of the bakery (Well, one of them... non-honest ideas with perfect solutions & occasionally daft ideas too!).
Jinbish, Jun 07 2006

       Could a small Shaped radio dish be positioned over the drivers seat that would broadcast a signal that when picked up by a Cell Phone reciever would tell it to discontinue broadcasting(I would guess a basic software change) This would be linked to the shifter and would only allow calls to 911 or when the car is in Park or Neutral(or maybe when speed is 0) This would inhibit phones near the drivers head which would at least keep 2 hands on the wheel. A similar transmitter focused below the dash board top edge would eliminate 90% of the positions used for Handsfree positioning of phones. Calls could still be placed from back seat or passenger seat as long as phone was held to the ear to place the call. Its not foolproof but it would inhibit the casual offender and be great evidence for tickets(yes officer, I always store my cell phone in the back seat)   

       On a related Point, if the conversation is the key problem, should we just ban multipassenger vehicles entirely, as a conversation with a passenger is just as distracting.
jhomrighaus, Jun 07 2006

       I'd like to 'fess up. I once drove through a red light while I was on the phone. The act of holding the phone was not the problem. It was the difficult conversation I was having at the time, and for some reason I was looking at the lights but didn't see them.   

       With that in mind, it is easy to see that any distraction what-so-ever is a bad thing: for example, arguing with your spouse at home before driving to work.   

       The no-holding-the-telephone bit is, I think, only used because it is policeable. A hands-free mobile still has to be dialled or operated, and it still requires multi-tasking.
Ling, Jun 07 2006

       //Could a small Shaped radio dish be positioned over the drivers seat that would broadcast a signal that when picked up by a Cell Phone reciever would tell it to discontinue broadcasting(I would guess a basic software change)//[jhomrigaus] you could place the dish, but getting it exclusive to the driver would be very difficult. The "basic software change" you request would be nothing less than the modification across the board of the GSM standards, coupled with accompanying change in all new phones and retrospective software change to all phones currently at large. Not so easy to achieve.
DocBrown, Jun 07 2006

       Probably already happened to my phone, which became obsolete this year. File under: shoulda happened a lot sooner.
reensure, Jun 07 2006


       As this entire conversation makes abundently clear there is nothing easy about solving this problem.
jhomrighaus, Jun 07 2006

       //there's nothing easy about solving this problem//
Agreed [jhom], I was just pointing out that your basic software change wasn't so basic. I don't know what the solution to this one would be, bar perhaps a wholesale ban on using phones in cars.
DocBrown, Jun 08 2006

       with hands-free kit drivers CAN NOT control a vehicle as good as without it.
mobdir, May 06 2007

       //If a passenger wants to use a cell phone, there will be a button next to them they can hold down to disable the jammer.//   

       I can't wait until they invent some sort of paper that is really sticky on one side so I could use it to hold the button down even when there isn't a passenger in the car.   

       I'll tell you this, I lived in New York for 4 + years where it is against the law to use a phone without a hands-free device. I got a lot better at text messaging.
ColonelMuffins, May 06 2007

       Gets my, I was just going to post this, bun&churn.   

       Just get rid of cellphones in vehicles.
krigre55, Dec 03 2007


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