A new service puts the brakes on texting while driving. DriveSafe automatically replies to incoming texts messages saying not now -- we're driving.
The text reads, "I'm driving at the moment. I'll read your text as soon as it is safe to do so." Texting while driving increases the chances of a crash even more than driving under the influence of alcohol. Texting, or any use of a mobile phone or similar device, is illegal in the UK.
DriveSafe launches on Vodafone in New Zealand this week. Because it's a network service rather than an app, it works across any phone, with no downloads or complicated setup required.
That sounds good, but we can't help feeling an app might be better suited to the task. To activate DriveSafe you need to send a text message to a set number, saying "Drive on" when you get in the car and "Drive off" when you arrive. So a system to stop you texting in the car requires you to send a text as you get in the car? We think we've spotted a flaw.
How many people will only remember once they're already on the road, and start texting the service that's supposed to stop them texting?
Instead, imagine if your phone could detect when you're moving and block calls -- no, that's no use in a traffic jam. Okay then: an app with a big red "I'm driving!" button. Or a sat-nav app that automatically blocks calls and texts while you're following the route -- no, wouldn't work on familiar journeys when you don't bother with the sat-nav.
Got it: a tag on the dashboard that tells your phone when you're in the car and deflects calls and texts, like the Sony Xperia S and its NFC tags. Cor, it's easy inventing things, innit?
Here in Britain, Griffin makes a range of in-car accessories also called DriveSafe, offering hands-free calls.