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Wireless Invention Jams Teen Drivers' Cell Calls 232

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-can't-hear-me-now dept.
alphadogg writes "University of Utah researchers have invented technology that could come to be embraced by teenagers with the same enthusiasm they have for curfews and ID checks. And like those things, it could save their lives. Key2SafeDriving technology uses RFID or Bluetooth wireless capabilities to issue signals from car keys to cell phones to prevent drivers from talking on their phones or texting while driving. A company called Accendo LC of Kaysville, Utah has licensed the technology and is working to build it into commercial devices that could be on the market next year. The company is sorting out how to bring the technology to market, but one possibility is that it would be made available through cell phone service companies and could also be tied in with insurance companies, which might offer discounts for users."
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Wireless Invention Jams Teen Drivers' Cell Calls

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  • Jammed! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Joe the Lesser (533425) on Friday December 12, 2008 @04:11PM (#26095007) Homepage Journal

    And it's raspberry!

  • Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by LegionKK (1298769) on Friday December 12, 2008 @04:13PM (#26095037)
    Great, now we're going to have people texting with their arms outside the window.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Duradin (1261418)

      I foresee the sales of tracphone and other pay as you go or prepaid phones increasing.

      The teens will just have to remember to not use the unlocked normal phone when calling home.

      • THIS! Tracphone at Walmart = $20. Airtime isn't all that expensive either. Parent who purchase this = poor parents who can't instill responsibility in their children.

    • by flitty (981864)
      How dumb do they think teenagers are?
      Hardhack: take said Jamming key to local Hardware store and have a copy made.
      Hotswap: Ask friend in car for their cellphone.
      Corrupted information: Hang up on every call from your parents and tell them "I don't know why I didn't get your call at 3:00 AM asking where I was didn't get through, must be that stupid key I'm using.."
    • by Fred_A (10934)

      Great, now we're going to have people texting with their arms outside the window.

      Just dictate your message to your friend hanging on to the roof with his cell phone.

  • Title is misleading (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The invention does not jam the cell it activates software. This is entirely different as a signal that jams the cell would cause the cell battery to run down early and will also disrupt nearby driver's conversations and signals. Not to mention jamming would be illegal.

    • by HTH NE1 (675604)

      a signal that jams the cell would cause the cell battery to run down early

      This is a Bluetooth device. It will also cause the cell battery to run down early.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by HTH NE1 (675604)

        I just realized, they don't need to make it a Bluetooth device paired to the car key at all. They just need to attach the phone to the key physically so that it can't be in use as a phone when its in the ignition. Tie them together with a short security chain and provide a little place in the dash to put the phone so it isn't hanging from the ignition. Need to answer/make a call or send a text message? You'll have to pull it from the ignition first.

        No transmitters, no loss of charge, and you're less likely

        • LOL! Bonus points if the phone automatically enters hands-free mode when the key is in the ignition.

  • Why allow anyone to access his or her cell phone in the car, whether or not they are a teen? Better yet, let's put breathalyzers in all cars to prevent all drunk driving. Let's have RFID chips in everyone's drivers license and make sure only those insured and registered on a vehicle are driving the car. Hey, if you aren't breaking the law then you have nothing to worry about, right? Yeah...going down the path of "safety" is a scary thing.
    • by nobodyman (90587)

      Jesus man, it's not like talking about some sort of vehicular Panopticon. It's an optional device for parents that prevents your kid from calling non-emergency numbers while driving.

      Why don't we go the *other* way and make no effort to ensure safety whatsoever. No drivers license, no age requirement, no laws prohibiting drinking while driving either. Then you can happily drive your libertarian ass all around town, and we can all take bets on how long you'll survive.

  • Why not do what r2rknot said and mandate it for everyone? I live at the intersection of 2 roads that each go directly to the main entrance of 3 of the most populous central florida colleges and I find myself shouting "hang up and drive" almost exclusively at people who look to be in their mid 30s at least. Then again it IS a lot easier to just blame everything bad that happens on the road on teens and their terrible teen driving with teen cellphone use and teen teening teenager teen teening teenagers...

    It o

    • by HTH NE1 (675604)

      mandatory "here watch these gory movies" classes that make up drivers ed

      I've never seen "Blood Flows Red on the Highway" or any of the like.

      But I do remember those commercials reminding people to keep the seat-belts on their watermelons ("...or just lying there, stunned in the road" [squish]).

      Hey, that reminds me: I don't have the movie Moving Violations (1985) [imdb.com] in my DVD library yet.

  • Unsinkable (Score:3, Funny)

    by CommandoCody (1154955) on Friday December 12, 2008 @04:23PM (#26095213)
    Good thing no teenager is tech-savvy enough to bypass this. I hear they're working on a porn filter next.
  • Powered on how? (Score:5, Informative)

    by phorm (591458) on Friday December 12, 2008 @04:27PM (#26095263) Journal

    So the key sheath what sends the signal... meaning that it's going to be extra expensive to lose/break/etc?

    It seems to depend on a lot of factors that aren't going to go over very well:

    a) You need the key

    b) You need a supported phone

    c) You need your phone tied to the key

    d) The auto-response feature won't work against landlines or phones that don't support texting (in the ad it shows a text message).

    Overall, it generally looks really fucking irritating. I avoid the phone when possible if I'm in the car, but there can be reasons to make a call when stopped etc (running late) or to receive calls in an emergency.

    The question of "what if it's a business call" and the answer of "it'll text the caller that you're driving" isn't going to go over very well, nor it is going to when your mother calls 5-min in to say "your dad is in the hospital" while you're headed out to a 4h drive...

    • by Al Dimond (792444)

      The question of "what if it's a business call"

      Business folk need to get the fuck over themselves. When you're on the road you have a responsibility to everyone on it. Your job doesn't change that, no matter how important you think you are.

  • by olddotter (638430) on Friday December 12, 2008 @04:31PM (#26095319) Homepage
    I was once reared ended by a guy who stopped his phone conversation just long enough to say those scratches on his bumper are from the last person he ran into. Some people never learn!
    • by Belial6 (794905)
      My wife was rear ended while stopped at a red light by a semi, and the truck driver never even bothered to put down his cell phone. (The fact that he wasn't on one to begin with shouldn't be used against my irrational complaining about technology)
  • by shalla (642644) on Friday December 12, 2008 @04:43PM (#26095501)

    So the biggest problem I see with this is that it essentially requires the driver to voluntarily use a matching key and cell phone that are sold as a set.

    If the driver were going to voluntarily not talk on the cell phone, they could just not do it and save the money.

    If you give this to a teenager and think this means they won't be texting or talking on a cell phone while driving, you need to spend more time with teenagers. As soon as there's another person with a cell phone in the car with them, they can borrow that cell phone to talk or text. If they're more devious (and have the money), they'll just get themselves another cell phone. If they really want to talk or text while driving, they will. This isn't going to stop them unless they're all alone in the car and very conscientious to begin with.

    Giving it to adults as some sort of insurance incentive? That's a laugh. Adults are even worse than kids about working the system.

    • by l3prador (700532)
      Also, it prevents passengers from using the driver's phone, or the driver from using his or her own phone while someone else is driving. Both of these are pretty common scenarios. I receive calls all the time when I am in the car, and I simply have the passenger answer my phone for me. I also sometimes let other people drive my car. This thing creates more problems than it solves.
      • Scenario 1: Driver is conscientious, doesn't use phone while driving anyway. - Key not needed, save the money.
        Scenario 2: Driver is tech savvy, turns off bluetooth on phone while driving. - Driver can't use headset, driver can and will still make calls. Key not needed, save the money.
        Scenario 3: Driver is smarter than a rock. - Driver copies key, uses bluetooth headset and makes calls anyway. Key not needed, save the money.
        Scenario 4: Driver has friends. - Driver borrows phone, can't use bluetooth headset, makes calls anyway. Key not needed, save the money.
        Scenario 5: Driver is psychopath. - Driver goes on a rampage because of parental failures, kills people randomly until driver is killed. Key not needed, save the money.

        In summary, save the money.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      Giving it to adults as some sort of insurance incentive? That's a laugh.

      If the insurance deduction is greater than the cost of the key + phone + service, who wouldn't do it?

      Keep the special phone attached to a car charger and forget about it.

    • by swillden (191260)

      So the biggest problem I see with this is that it essentially requires the driver to voluntarily use a matching key and cell phone that are sold as a set.

      If the driver were going to voluntarily not talk on the cell phone, they could just not do it and save the money.

      The driver doesn't have any choice in the matter, because the key, car and phone all belong to his or her parents, and THEY think it's worth the money to ensure their kid focuses on driving, rather than on a discussion who's going out with who.

      As a parent of teens who will soon be driving, I see a lot of value in this.

      • by ColaMan (37550)

        The driver doesn't have any choice in the matter, because the key, car and phone all belong to his or her parents

        Teen, to hardware store drone: "Hi, I need to get another key cut. Oh, that extra blob on the end there? It was for some useless car alarm that the previous owner had. Hasn't worked for ages. Don't worry about it, just a normal key will do."

        • by swillden (191260)

          The driver doesn't have any choice in the matter, because the key, car and phone all belong to his or her parents

          Teen, to hardware store drone: "Hi, I need to get another key cut. Oh, that extra blob on the end there? It was for some useless car alarm that the previous owner had. Hasn't worked for ages. Don't worry about it, just a normal key will do."

          It's much easier to find a copied key than it is to catch them at texting while driving.

          Imperfect != valueless.

    • "If they're more devious (and have the money), they'll just get themselves another cell phone."

      Are the cars using an ignition system that *requires* one of these special keys to even start the vehicle? If not, and it just happens that the key the folks gave me disables the phone, but a *different* key won't disable the phone, the teen will just spend $5 to have another, old-fashioned key made.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Zadaz (950521)

      If you give this to a teenager and think this means they won't be texting or talking on a cell phone while driving, you need to spend more time with teenagers.

      Which is exactly the point. This device is being marketed to people who have no understanding of teenagers--Parents afraid that their little snowflake is going to roll the car while doing 200 in a school zone while on a conference call between their pimp and coke dealer on their way to an animal sacrifice while texting an elderly priest to meet them

  • How Many Kids (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheNinjaroach (878876) on Friday December 12, 2008 @04:53PM (#26095613)
    Will wreck their cars while messing around with their cell phone trying to get a good signal?
  • How hard is it to ignore a phone? Let it ring until you can pull over and call them back. It works for me.
  • by deadhammer (576762) on Friday December 12, 2008 @05:30PM (#26096173)
    Or you could, you know, trust your kids.

    Do parents even do that anymore?
    • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Friday December 12, 2008 @06:07PM (#26096779)
      Or you could, you know, trust your kids.

      Another question is: Can I trust your kids? Seeing as we're on the same road and all.
    • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Friday December 12, 2008 @06:24PM (#26096983) Homepage Journal

      Or you could, you know, trust your kids.

      Trust isn't a boolean. There are many things I trust my kids with, but there are other things I don't. In particular, I don't trust my kids to always show good judgment, ESPECIALLY where their friends are involved. The classic parent question "If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?" is so classic precisely because the honest answer to that question is often "Yes!".

      Another area where kids' judgment is often poor is around their own safety. Most kids have only a vague sense of their own mortality and fragility, at best. As a result, they often run risks that adults would not. Worse, kids are new drivers, and new drivers often underestimate the difficulty of operating a vehicle. The controls are simple, the traffic rules aren't bad... how hard can it be? It takes a few years to truly understand in your bones that brief inattention can combine with someone else's mistake to KILL YOU.

      Yet another issue is that kids are generally very impatient, and will often make foolish decisions because they want something NOW.

      15-17 year-old kids driving with cellphones combine all of these in one dangerous package. Talking to their friends is just about the most important thing in the world to them, and they want to know NOW whether or not Marinda thinks Jaden is hot, and they're completely certain of their ability to talk or even text while driving, never mind the fact that they've only got a few dozen hours behind the wheel.

      Now, I can tell my kids until I'm blue in the face the reasons they should not use their phone while driving, and I can even order them not to, threaten to take their phone and/or car privileges away if I ever find out they did it, etc., but none of that will work, because of one simple fact:

      They think I'm wrong.

      Moreover, they think I'm stupid, that I don't get it, and that I don't understand them. The same thing virtually every teenager who has ever lived has thought of their parents.

      In general, that's actually a good thing. Questioning and even disregarding your parents' opinions and advice is an important part of growing up, of establishing your own identity and learning to think for yourself. I fully expect that my kids are going to disregard much of what I say (though it still irks me), and to a large extent I'm perfectly happy that they're going to make mistakes and bear the consequences of those mistakes.

      There are, however, exceptions. Areas in which I do NOT want to allow them to make the mistakes they want to make, because I know what the consequences are.

      For example, I don't want them making mistakes that may kill them dead. There's no chance to learn from such mistakes. Likewise, even though they're survivable, I really don't want my son to get hooked on crack, or my daughter to get knocked up (or my son to knock up some other girl). The consequences are too severe, and the lesson can be learned by observing others' mistakes. No need to make every possible error.

      Should I simply trust my children not to make foolish decisions that may kill them or get them addicted or pregnant? Statistically, it's pretty clear that's a BAD IDEA. Instead, I keep a leash on them. I know what sorts of parties they go to, and what sorts of friends they keep. I know what kind of boys my daughter goes out with and, more important, I impose curfews and other limitations intended to reduce the opportunities for getting carried away. I could go on... these are relatively old problems and the solutions are well-understood.

      Cellphones and cars... that's a new one. And unlike crack or sex, it's something that's unlikely to progress slowly, with plenty of warning signs I can key in on. It only takes once.

      So, I like this idea. I think it's a useful tool. Do all kids need it? Of course not. Good parents know their kids, know which ones will ignore them and which ones will listen, and act accordingly. In my case, one of these systems would be a waste of money for my son, but if they're on the market I WILL buy one for my daughter.

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      I used to not trust my kid. But he really tried to earn my trust, and finally I decided to trust him. Then I got a call from the cops that he was busted with his friends in a nearby town, all of them underage, all of them had been drinking. At least he wasn't driving. Now I don't trust him and won't ever trust him.
      Yes, I know, according to ever childless a-hole on slashdot, that if I were a better parent that this wouldn't have happened. Thank you for your sage advice. Now go have a kid, wait about 20 year
  • The tag "whatcouldpossiblygowrong" is so right. Too bad we can't mod tags up.

    Cell phones can be used for emergencies.

    Worse yet, this does NOT solve any problem. If teens aren't smart enough to not use a cell phone from driving, maybe they shouldn't be driving in the first place.

  • by Ma8thew (861741) on Friday December 12, 2008 @06:35PM (#26097109)
    As far as I'm concerned, no one should be using their phone whilst driving (unless they're calling emergency services). Being in control of a car demands your full attention, if a call is that important, pull over and stop.
    • by tompaulco (629533)
      I agree. And texting? Frankly I see no need for texting at all, let alone while driving. I want to apply for a government grant. They can buy me some bullets and every time I see someone texting while driving, I just wait until they are in a safe area, then put them out of our misery. I figure it will save lives of innocent people, and get some of the bacteria out of the gene pool.
    • by shiftless (410350)

      Being in control of a car during rush hour traffic demands my full attention, sure. Being in control of a car while cruising down a lonesome highway at 55 MPH with no other cars in sight does not demand my full attention. Which is why I don't call or text in the former case, and frequently do in the latter.

  • One obvious and MUCH MUCH safer implementation. Would be a phone log, one that added a note beside the call if it occurred on a road. Jamming or blocking calls is stupid and dangerous.

  • ...What's to stop anybody from just un-syncing their phone?

"But this one goes to eleven." -- Nigel Tufnel

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