From The Washington Postwww.WashingtonPost.com
An engineer has invented a device that he believes could eliminate distracted driving. He also says at least one mobile phone provider appears close to rolling out the gadget to its users and that another provider has shown an interest in the technology.
But, then again, Scott Tibbitts and his colleagues at a company called Katasi have been trying to persuade cellphone providers, automakers and the federal government to deploy his gadget for half a decade now.
“How do you get to the [top executives] to say: ‘This is insane. You’ve got a solution right under your hood. You could be heroes. Let’s just do this thing and save a bunch of lives.’” Tibbitts asked. “[B]ut at the end of the day, everything seems to slow down, right at the point they say let’s do this.”
Tibbitts, who also developed motors used on NASA space missions, came up with a temporary blocking device that can be plugged into a port on a vehicle’s steering wheel about as easily as a thumb drive. The technology – called Groove – is designed to halt incoming texts and other potential wireless distractions as soon as the vehicle moves at 5 mph or faster. Only data for GPS navigational systems and music are allowed to reach the driver’s smartphone. The device blocks other data by alerting the driver’s mobile phone service provider that the vehicle is in motion. Once the vehicle comes to a stop, the device ceases blocking. It can also distinguish the phone of the person who’s driving, so that passengers’ phones aren’t affected…
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