Feds recommend guidelines that could eventually "lock out" your - KMOV.com

Feds recommend guidelines that could eventually "lock out" your phone when driving

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Wednesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration handed out new guidelines for distracted driving and that could mean you'll one day be locked out of your phone if you're driving.

The guidelines are voluntary and are directed at the makers of cell phones, asking them, for one, to better pair phones with cars themselves.

But they're also exploring ways to put phones into "driver" mode, with or without your consent. That could make it way more difficult to use certain apps, watch videos or read on the phone, while you're driving.

The report, which can be found here, says:

The report discusses technologies, current under development and other approaches.
“One approach involved a piece of hardware that creates zones within a vehicle by emitting signals. The driver’s seating position would have a different signal that could be identified by software and/or hardware on a portable device. Identifying the driver’s position with this method would potentially allow the device to activate the driver mode only for the driver while he or she is driving. This signal could vary depending on the transmission state.

Another driver-passenger distinction technology uses capacitive sensors within the seats that allow the vehicle to detect where portable devices are being used within a vehicle. By detecting if a driver is using a portable device, the vehicle can tell the portable device to activate the driver mode. Driver Mode can be activated depending on the state of the vehicle’s transmission (i.e., park vs. drive).

Finally, a device-only solution uses an authentication task approach where a device automatically goes into a limited use state (e.g., Driver Mode) at a speed threshold, and a quick, but challenging task is required to re-enable full functionality on the device. These authentication tasks are designed to be quick and easy for non-drivers, but nearly impossible to complete successfully within the short time limit for drivers.”

The NHTSA is still encouraging states to pass laws regulating cell phone use. In Illinois, it's illegal to text, talk, or do anything on your phone without a hands-free device. But Missouri is one of just four states that has yet to pass any sort of ban.

In 2015, distracted driving caused nearly 19,000 accidents, 8,000 injuries and 113 deaths in Missouri.

The federal agency is asking for your ideas on how to keep people safe on the road. You can find out how, by reading the full report.

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