Ford are aiming to become the first company to implement a new technology which temporarily blocks phone calls in potential troublespots.
A Ford suit confirmed:
“We’re researching ways to use the car’s own intelligence to further help drivers. Vehicle control inputs, sensors, road conditions and biometric information such as a driver’s pulse and breathing can all be used to create a ‘driver workload estimation’.”
Ford’s new blocking system would look at a driver’s biological signs, and traffic information, to decide whether a phone call can be taken. Some of the technology is already in place to make the judgement – blind sport technology for example, traction and ABS controls all provide feedback which could be built very easily into Ford’s new approach. Pulse monitoring equipment could be built into a watch/seatbelt system or steering wheels.
However, one concern may be Ford’s embroilment in legal cases? Should a call be taken which contributes to some form of collision, could Ford be held responsible for allowing the call to reach the driver? A simpler route may be to implement their new Sync system across the range. Created in July 2010, Sync has a ‘Do Not Disturb” button which allows text messages to be read aloud when activated.
Ford’s move may well have something to do with the U.S. Department of Transportation 2010 threat to disable phone calls in every car.