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No more talking behind the wheel: Scientists develop system that can shut down your cell phone while you're driving

Daily Mail 12/09/2011 19:01
Distracted: Researchers have created a system which blocks a driver's phone

Distracted: Researchers have created a system which blocks a driver's phone

Researchers have discovered how to stop drivers using their phones when they are behind the wheel without affecting use for passengers.

A team at Stevens Institute of Technology and Rutgers in New Jersey have created a system which shuts down a driver's phone without affecting other people in the vehicle.

It utilises a phone's Bluetooth connection and a vehicle's speakers to detect if the driver is using their mobile phone while driving, reports CNET.

The system measures the acoustic signals emitted from the stereo and the proximity of the phone to the Bluetooth receiver, essentially pinging both systems to determine where the phone is being operated.

By measuring the phone's distance between the speakers, the phone can estimate its distance from the car's centre, and determine more than 95 percent of the time if the phone is in the possession of the driver or a passenger.

Once the ownership is determined, the phone can decide if it needs to lock down services, according to CNET.


Using a vehicle's existing Bluetooth and audio technology, researchers have figured out how to block smartphone use by people behind the wheel


The system created by a team led by doctors Chen Stevens, Marco Gruteser and Richard Martinis is designed to allow passengers to use their phones while the vehicle is in motion.