Miles of stop-and-go traffic combined with boredom can lead to a common safety hazard while on the road: texting and driving.
For this reason, New York designer Joey Cofone recently developed "Car Mode," which discourages users from using their iPhones while driving.
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Much like "Airplane Mode," Car Mode — which is still a concept — would show up in your iPhone settings after installing iOS 7. Users would activate Car Mode by connecting their phone to their car's Bluetooth system.
Enforcing it would prohibit the sending and viewing of text messages. No text-message notifications would go off, and an "in Car Mode" automatic message would be sent to people who are texting the driver. Users would only be able to read texts and other notifications once they stop driving, or when Car Mode is disabled. Navigation and handsfree phone calls would still be enabled in Car Mode.
Cofone said he decided not to design Car Mode as a separate app or device, instead opting to embed it within iOS 7, as more people would use the mode if it is already part of the iPhone's operating system.
"It's all about finding where the fault lies — the opportunity to introduce a solution — and designing from there. In this case, it was the realization that people are good at not initiating texts while driving, but terrible at resisting incoming texts. We created a solution that, once people turned it on, completely eliminates temptation until Car Mode is deactivated," Cofone toldMashable in an email.
Cofone presented his idea and won first place at the Command X contest, in which participants were asked to develop a solution for eliminating texting and driving. The contest took place during the American Institute of Graphic Arts design conference last month.
Cofone is still in the early stages of developing his design concept, and has not yet contacted Apple about incorporating Car Mode into iOS. If Apple eventually chooses to add Car Mode, Cofone said he would like the company to partner with car-insurance firms, so they can track and reward safe drivers. Those logging Car-Mode hours could potentially lower their car-insurance rates.
"More people die every year from texting while driving than drinking while driving — this is something that should be addressed by Apple, the leader in the smartphone market," Cofone said.