Apple to Introduce “Do Not Disturb While Driving”


Soon, Apple will introduce a new iPhone feature that will do away with that annoying — and dangerous — urge to look at a text message while you’re driving.

The feature, called “Do Not Disturb While Driving,” will be part of Apple’s iOS 11, a new version of the operating software for Apple mobile devices. The feature was announced at the WWDC conference in San Jose and will be part of the new iOS 11 operating system available probably in September, to anyone with an iPhone 5S or later.

Whenever the phone is connected to a car using either Bluetooth or a cable, or if the car is moving, the phone will withhold any notifications for things like text messages or news updates.

If someone does text you while you’re driving, the phone can respond with an automatic message telling them you’re driving and can’t respond just now.

The iPhone screen will also be locked to prevent drivers from using many of their apps while driving. Passengers will have the ability to indicate that they are not driving and disable the feature.

Users will be able to see Apple Maps, Apple’s navigation application, while driving — though they will be unable to input destinations. Other navigation apps, like Google Maps, will also work, although not quite as easily.

CarPlayDrivers will still be able to use Apple CarPlay, of course, in cars that are equipped with it. Apple CarPlay is a car interface specifically designed to allow drivers to hear and respond to text messages using voice commands and to safely use other iPhone features while driving. It’s available from a number of automobile manufacturers, including General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, BMW and Honda, and works through a computer screen in the car.

Nissan has proposed adding a so-called Faraday cage to its cars. This would be a box built in to the car that would block radio transmissions of any kind from reaching the phone. That would be another way to prevent distracting texts while driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eight people are killed each day in crashes involving distracted driving.

Car safety experts around the world are praising the new technology aimed at tackling the problem of distractions in a car. The system will automatically detect when someone is in a car and will block notifications and texts and stop drivers from opening apps on their phone.


This sounds like a great idea to improve safety on the road, especially when we’re seeing so many teen-agers in wrecks because they were texting. It will come built in on the iPhone 11, but apparently it also comes as an app that can be downloaded onto older phones.

But in my view there are some problems with it.

If a passenger can disable it, then so can the driver.

The intent is to cut down on driver distractions, but one look at the CarPlay screen presents loads of other distractions.

If the navigational apps are harder to manage, that adds more problems for a driver who’s traveling alone.

The very worst problem is that because some drivers are stupid enough to think they can text and drive at the same time, this app will be forced on everyone buying an iPhone 11 whether they want it or not.

Then how long will it be until the government gets involved? How long until a regulation mandates the app be permanently on and the buyer isn’t capable of turning it off? Like the mandated seat belt, that can lead to a ‘must have’ on your phone or in the vehicle and become a traffic violation in the not too distant future.

Eventually we’ll have no choice, except to leave our phones at home, but hey, it’s for your safety, right?


Categories: General

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4 replies

  1. Geez Kathy, don’t we have enough trouble without you borrowing some more?


  2. I assume you mean the federal government, and the fact that we could easily see this happening proves how far the federal government has strayed beyond the limits set forth in our Constitution. The FEDERAL government has no right to make these kinds of laws, and if they think they do then we have the wrong people running the government. But we already knew that.

    States and local governments are a different story. IMO the citizens of an area have the right to make laws based on what they perceive is in their own best interests. Unfortunately this makes it hard to always be in compliance with law as you drive from one area to the next, but it’s the price we have to pay to preserve the right to be free from big, centralized government.

    Case in point: I drove to College Station yesterday. That area recently passed a law requiring hands-free cell phone use. There are digital signs announcing the new law along the freeway as you enter the area. It occurred to me, particularly since I sometimes use the phone for navigation and sometimes pick it up to read what it says, how easy it will be for non-residents not used to this rule to get ticketed, especially if they ever take these temporary signs down.

    There simply is no easy answer to this. Personally I am in favor of laws that limit cell use in the car, because too many people abuse it and that makes them a danger to the rest of us. It’s just unfortunate that we can’t simply evict people who are irresponsible and inconsiderate and send them all to, say, California (sorry Brian!). That would allow us to remove 90% of the laws from the books in places like Texas.


    • States and cities of course have a right to make laws pertinent to their areas – in fact our city just made it unlawful to text and drive. Yes’m, I meant the federal government because they won’t stay butted out for long once this gets kicked off and people get accustomed to using it.

      For now, I’m borrowing trouble, because it’s not even an available app yet. But the federal government has a history of inserting themselves into every facet of our lives, so I’d bet we see it down the road at some point.

      That new law in College Station is going to be a hardship on folks because not everyone can go hands free. People using the older flip phones will have to ignore calls or pull over, which is not a bad thing, but will they?

      Liked by 1 person

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