Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No More Talking/Texting While Driving

Agence France Press reports that a Canadian company, Aegis Mobility, has created new technology called DriveAssist that intercepts phone calls and text messages while a person is driving.

DriveAssist uses GPS and other technologies to detect if the person is moving at a speed which indicates he is in a car.

Many jurisdictions like New York and Connecticut forbid talking on a cell phone while driving without a hands-free device like a speaker phone or bluetooth headset because of distractions associated with such activity. Even this restriction however isn't foolproof because one still has to look at the screen to dial.

Smart phones such as the iPhone complicate matters because I often look at Google Maps and directions while I'm driving.

I think DriveAssist is a good feature. Unfortunately it is being offered on a carrier-by-carrier basis for a monthly fee.

I think that this creates a potential legal problem for carriers and handset manufacturers. If blocking calls from those that are driving is considered a safety feature then not including it in a phone or service plan for free may be considered a product defect.

As such carriers/manufactures may become liable to those who are injured by customers who used phones that lacked such blocking features.

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