Last week, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) called on smartphone makers to add features that would keep motorists from driving distracted.
The proposed voluntary guidelines ask technology makers to prevent manual text entry and block some visual displays while cars are in motion to counteract the upsurge in distracted-driving-related traffic deaths. The guidelines encourage the installation of a “Driver Mode” in devices to create a more simplified interface for when the technology is used behind the wheel. This would block internet browsing, social media content and videos or images.
The NHTSA is accepting comments and suggestions from the public or from device makers to improve the proposal. Currently, the biggest challenge is for the technology to differentiate between driver and passenger use in the vehicle, so that passengers are not blocked from using their phones.
The guidelines are voluntary, though some device makers are already calling them “extreme”. The proposal comes after an announcement that traffic deaths were up 10% in the first half of 2016.
Read more about the guidelines and the reactions of technology companies on Bloomberg.