Teenagers – most of them get the euphoric feeling of being independent from their parents the moment they pass their driving exams, and receive the keys to dad’s car. Regardless of whether you’re from a well-to-do family or will inherit a vehicle that’s as old as you, there is nothing quite like being in a jalopy with you at the wheel. No longer will you have to endure dad’s over-careful driving style, and neither do you have to subject yourself to elder sister’s maniacal forays down the highway. You are in charge of your destiny, be it a shiny new Ferrari or an old Ford pickup truck that requires 10 minutes of warm-up before it can get going. Unfortunately for parents, instead of worrying about their kid’s newfound freedom on the road, they also have to think about cell phone usage habits. Good thing somebody came up with this new automobile ignition key that prevents teenagers from talking on cell phones or sending text messages while driving. That ought to go a long way in helping reduce the amount of accidents, eh?
Researchers at the University of Utah were the ones who came up with this invention, and they have dubbed it Key2SafeDriving, targeting a lower number of road fatalities. How does it achieve this noble intention? For starters, it will rely on Bluetooth connectivity to remain hooked to compatible cell phones wirelessly. and is aimed at cutting down on road deaths. It relies on Bluetooth technology to wirelessly connect keys to phones. Before the engine is turned on, the driver must slide the key out or push a button to release it. The device will then send a signal over to the driver’s cell phone, moving it into “driving mode” while displaying a “Stop” sign on the handset’s display screen. Any incoming calls or texts will be answered with a message , “I am driving now. I will call you later when I arrive at the destination safely.”
According to Xuesong Zhou, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering who co-invented the system with Wally Curry, “The key to safe driving is to avoid distraction. We want to provide a simple, cost-effective solution to improve driving safety.”