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Method of controlling the functionality of a mobile device in a vehicle based on location detection in the vehicle. Disclosure Number: IPCOM000234719D
Original Publication Date: 2014-Jan-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2014-Jan-30
Document File: 2 page(s) / 9K

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Geoffrey Bula: INVENTOR [+2]


Many states have laws against drivers making calls or texting over a mobile phone while operating a vehicle. By being able to detect the location of a mobile device in a vehicle, texting, email, playing games, and receiving or making calls can be disabled on the driver’s mobile phone, while allowing other passengers to utilize their devices as they wish. This will greatly reduce accidents and deaths due to distracted drivers from texting, playing games, and taking phone calls.

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Method of controlling the functionality of a mobile device in a vehicle based on location detection in the vehicle

Other mobile phone disabling solutions do not distinguish between a mobile device in the "driver seat" location vs. other positions in the car. There is a smart phone application on the market which disables a phone that is traveling at speeds in excess of a preset speed based on GPS (Global Positioning System). The application detects the phone is traveling in excess of the threshold speed and asks the user if they are a driver or passenger. If the user chooses the passenger button on the App, then they must pass an attention test, which further reduces attention to driving if the driver is trying to work around the app. If the user fails the attention test, the phone is disabled until it is operating under the threshold speed. The overall problem here is the app trusts the user to be honest on if they are driving or not, and puts the driver at further distraction if trying to pass the passenger attention test. This solution also depends on the GPS always being on, which drains battery power significantly.

With the proposed solution, it would not be necessary to trust the user to input if they are driving or not and GPS would not be required. Automatic location of the device in the driver's seat area will disable the phone. People cannot be trusted with this decision as texting while driving is illegal in most states and in many it is illegal to even use a phone while driving, but this behavior continues and is growing.

Two mechanisms would be provided by which the phone is determined to be in the driver's seat. These could either be used in isolation, or...