Apple patents lock-out system for CarPlay to prevent texting while driving

In March 2014 during the Geneva International Motor Show, Apple announced CarPlay, their automotive system that allows users to access the most useful apps while driving. Once users connect their iPhone to the CarPlay interface, they will be able to make calls, send and read received texts or emails (using Siri, Apple’s intelligent assistant), view maps and enjoy their favourite songs without taking their hands off the wheel. In line with Apple’s commitment to make driving “smarter and safer”, it was recently revealed that CarPlay would also be able to prevent users from texting while they drive, thanks to a lock-out system that will disable that option.

Apple patented a mechanism for handheld computing devices that will recognize when the user is driving and will automatically block the iPhone’s functionality, guaranteeing road security. In order to confirm if the user is driving and should not be using the phone, Apple would use motion analysers and a GPS that will determine if you are in the move. It will also be able to recognize if you are the one that is actually behind the wheel, which would freeze out the phone or you are in the back seat, where it would be safe to use your device. As per the patent, there would not be any modifications or installations required in the car.


Even though the patent is aimed mainly to prevent iPhone users to text while they are driving, it will also be able to limit the phone’s usage in other applications that would be too distracting such as Facebook and Safari. The save driving technology would be incorporated to CarPlay, making it a comprehensive solution for safe and convenient driving. Mercedes, Volvo and Ferrari are some of the car brands that are set to use CarPlay. In some cases, this will be built-in the vehicle while in others, it will be offered as an additional option. With CarPlay, user will still be able to dictate texts with Siri but the safety lock-out system intends to make sure that they keep their hands off the phone.

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