– Oh, look at that, I bet s/he is texting!
– You were almost right mom, they are actually talking on the phone.
Alas, conversations like this are quite common in my car. I find that quite alarming, but the same people who complain about it, can be easily caught texting & driving. Judging from the increasing number of erratic and distracted drivers I see every day, I don’t think that it will be easy or even possible to separate drivers from their phones any time soon.
Technology is probably going to be the only means to make drivers look ahead and at the road again.
An often suggested draconian technological method, that is: blocking phones when in a moving vehicle, is not proving very popular. Instead, the most likely solution is offered by Heads-Up displays that project information on the windshield, similar to the Garmin HUD, but with added apps for communication, on top of the navigation piece.
A few companies are working on this idea, and one of the most compelling devices is Navdy, www.navdy.com, which was started as a crowdsourced project last summer.
It is a device that can be installed in any car and is designed to project information from your phone as if it’s floating six feet in front of you, so you don’t need to take your eyes off the road while using navigation, but also making a phone call or playing your favorite music while driving. It uses both touch-less gestures and voice commands and works with iOS and Android. I know that there are several solutions that are kind of similar, but they dont’ work very well, or provide limited features and so they still require that you look at your phone once in a while.
At this point there aren’t many competitors on the market yet, which sounds great for Navdy. Indeed, when I saw their ad on Facebook I thought I had found the perfect Christmas present for somebody I know, but while Navdy is available for pre-order, it is not going to be released until next year, which is very, very unfortunate!