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Sprint’s New Feature: Auto-locked Cellphone While Driving

Sprint has announced a new feature that will be available to their phones, just a week before National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Sprint’s new feature aims to prevent distracted drivers from harming themselves or others while on the road. I think it’s safe to say that while many of us vow that we never check our phones while on the road, the reality is a bit different. From important phone calls to emotional text messages, to “important” breaking news from our social media feeds, one could argue that the cell phone poses a real threat to any driver.

Sprint’s new feature will automatically lock your cell phone screen when it senses that you are driving and will redirect your calls to the voicemail. It will also block text-message alerts and auto-respond with a message displaying your “driving status.” The only access permitted will be to three very important people in your device’s phonebook and three mobile applications, such as your GPS, calendar, or a Compass application. Parents and Employers will get access to a website that will allow them to configure the “Drive First” for the mobile devices of their kids or workers. Sprint will show “Drive First” in action at the CTIA Wireless 2011, and will be available in Q3 of 2011.

The service will cost $2 a month, so my question is, do you really think drivers who enjoy all-access to their phones will pay $24 a month to be restricted? I don’t think so. While this feature will be great for parents or employers such as UPS wanting to minimize dangers for their drivers, I’m not so sure this feature is marketable to the masses. Then again, how can we (as a consumer) say no to additional options? The freedom to choose was never a bad thing!

Photo Courtesy of Chris Murphy
Photo Courtesy of Herald Post