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News Section: Local news

First iPhone App to Prevent Texting and Driving

Published Monday, June 23, 2014 12:04 am

As the percentage of vehicular accidents caused by texting and driving increases, so too must the number of technologies designed specifically to decrease that percentage. With the help of Leonardo Murri, founder and programmer of the No Text and Drive app, Apple has just joined the fight in saving lives on the road.


Murri’s app is the first of its kind to appear in the Apple App Store. Prior to No Text and Drive’s launch, iPhone owners did not have access to an app that successfully disabled the use of the phone while driving. According to the biannual “Taking Stock With Teens” report conducted in April 2014 by investment bank Piper Jaffray, 61 percent of American teens own an iPhone. With a percentage that high, an app to decrease that number should certainly be welcomed by all.


The No Text and Drive app prevents the driver from texting or making phone calls while driving by disabling the use of the phone when it is traveling over 10 miles per hour. According to Murri, the app can sense the speed that the phone is traveling by using GPS, three antennas and the location service in the phone. If the driving slows down to under 10 miles per hour or stops at a red light, the phone will be enabled for use once again.


The app also includes a parental feature that informs the parent of the teen with the app when it was turned on or off, so even if the teen switched the app off while driving in order to text and drive, the parents can see that it was switched off. The app can also be switched off or into an override mode if the teen is a passenger in the car. 


While the app is switched on, the driver can listen to music on the phone by using Siri or selecting a playlist before reaching 10 miles per hour. The app also allows the driver to receive calls and make emergency calls. You can also make a phone call by using voice control or Siri. The No Text and Drive app can be purchased for $1.00 per month.


Murri’s goal is to decrease the nearly 1.8 million accidents per year caused by cellular use while driving. “If I can reduce that percentage even a little bit with this app, it will have been a success.”

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So we have to be tracked (have GPS enabled) in order to utilize this app?? I'd prefer just throwing my phone in the trunk where I can't be tempted/distracted than having Apple, Google, the government and the cell towers/companies know where I am and how fast I'm driving all the time. No way this can be an advantage for an individual...rather, it's another form of surveillance disguised as a tool to help people who don't have the self control to do what's safe for themselves and others.
Posted by Mel on October 3, 2014

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