Apple’s CarPlay interface will put iOS apps on your dashboard, and it could eventually save your life behind the wheel. According to a recent Apple patent, your iPhone might eventually be able to prevent you from texting if it senses you’re driving.
The USPTO published Apple’s patent for “lock-out mechanisms for driver handheld computing devices,” which will allow the smartphone giant to create an iPhone that can automatically freeze up in situations where a driver shouldn’t be using it. The patent states auto-freezing wouldn’t require any “modifications or additions to a vehicle.”
Apple proposes to accomplish this by using motion analyzers and a GPS in order to figure out when you’ve hit the road. The technology would also use some sort of “scenery detector,” which would help your iPhone determine whether you’re in the driver’s seat or safely texting away in the back.
While this patent is clearly designed to keep iPhone addicts from texting and driving, it notes that the lock-out mechanic wouldn’t be limited to your Messages app. Some other obvious on-the-road culprits are Safari and Facebook, which could also potentially be locked out when you’re mid-drive.
This newly-patented safe driving tech would make a strong addition to CarPlay, which is set to roll out this year on select vehicles from Volvo, Mercedes and Ferrari, among others. The interface will allow you to plug your iPhone directly into your vehicle and use such iOS apps as Music, Maps and Messages right from your car’s display.