Home > Automation > Automotive > US Regulators Pitch Smartphone Makers On ‘Driver Mode’

US Regulators Pitch Smartphone Makers On ‘Driver Mode’

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a set of voluntary guidelines that implore smartphone companies like Apple and Samsung to implement a new driver mode that detects when users are on the road and restricts them from accessing certain apps and features for the duration.

“Your smartphone becomes so many different things that it’s not just a communication device,” said Secretary of Transportation.

“Distraction is still a problem. Too many people are dying and being injured on our roadways.”

NSW transport authority Roads and Maritime rolled out new restrictions for P-plate drivers earlier this year that prevent from any smartphone use while driving.

According to a recent AT&T study, 70 percent of drivers use their smartphones while operating vehicles – predominantly to access social media.

It’s an interesting suggestion and one that, given the widespread adoption of airplane mode functions, shouldn’t necessary be dismissed as unfeasible or unnecessary.

Apple has already dipped their toes into car integration with their CarPlay App since 2014. The function already connects to compatible cars to display apps and services within the car’s display and allow access to Siri commands while driving. A more utilitarian mode for older vehicles isn’t that much of a stretch.

That’s the approach competitor Google have taken with Android Auto. There are now over 200 new car models from more than 50 brands that support Android Auto directly and Google’s recent overhaul allows users to enable it even if their vehicle doesn’t come with that built-in integration.

While we haven’t quite reached a formal “Drivers Mode” for smartphones yet, it’s clear we’re nearing the destination.