By on April 16, 2015

Hyundai Driver Cell Phone Blocking Patent

Can’t put down the smartphone while driving? Hyundai has a patent for technology that can render it as dumb as a Motorola DynaTAC.

Autoblog reports the patent shows technology that “limits or disables the use of some of mobile device features which could cause distraction to the user.” The system determines when and what to disable on a phone based on vehicle speed, time of day, importance of message, and other factors, and can do so either at the driver’s seat or the entire vehicle.

According to the patent, this is done with cellular-signal-monitoring antennas placed throughout the cabin. When an antenna detects a signal, the system performs the tasks needed to disable functions that would otherwise hinder a driver’s ability to maintain vigilance. However, the system requires the phone in question to have firmware that would accept the former’s commands.

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31 Comments on “Hyundai Patent Shows Cell-Phone Disabling Technology...”


  • avatar
    John R

    Is there a way I could use this technology to project its talents outside the car?. At other…”drivers”?

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      Cell phone jammers exist, however it is illegal for you to operate one. The world is a stupid place, populated by stupid animals.

    • 0 avatar

      Not that I condone texting while driving, in particular, but I have to think that a perpetrator would become ever more distracted if his phone stopped functioning because the signal was jammed or disabled.

      • 0 avatar
        Car Ramrod

        Somebody got arrested for using a jammer on interstate 4 in Tampa during rush hour about a years ago. I agree, other drivers are likely to get more distracted when their phone doesn’t operate as intended.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    A much more useful, and satisfying, technology would be a way to remotely disable boom cars.

  • avatar

    Great, First I could hold the phone up in the line of sight of driving and quickly glance at it. Then they said that was illegal so I had to hold it in my lap while looking away for a few moments. Now I’m going to have to put it in cruise and hop in the passenger seat!?!

    It’s cute how folks try to make technology/laws to limit things deemed unsafe and people just find less safe ways to do the same thing anyway. You can’t change people.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    If someone needs to use this tech to force themselves to stop using their phone while driving, they have a bigger problem with addiction that they thought.

    … Of course it might be handy to switch on when the kids borrow the car.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    They need to find a technology that can lock womens’ makeup cases while the vehicle is in motion.

    Not many feelings as helpless as watching a 3-row SUV roll up on you stopped at a light, while the driver has both hands off the wheel and up at her face, while her eyes are apparently fixed on the vanity mirror on the sunvisor, which is flipped all the way down and blocking her forward view.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Install them in subway trains, please. At least give us a quite car.

  • avatar
    cbrworm

    How many people would not buy a car that had cell phone monitoring and disabling. At least while other options existed.

    • 0 avatar

      Their availability becomes the thin edge of the wedge.

      Once available, insurance companies will start offering reduced rates for any one that has them.

      Once available, cell phone use will be logged to prove that faulty ignition switches weren’t the cause of a drunken teen crashing.

      Once available, the government will mandate their installation in all new cars.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Yeah, as a customer I’m not paying for this garbage. Hyundai can suck it.

    • 0 avatar
      thesparrow

      So tell us, is it difficult to text while driving an S2000? What with the manual trans and poor top up visibility..

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        It’s a lot easier than you’d expect, really.

        • 0 avatar
          thesparrow

          So you still text even though it is clearly dangerous to divert your eyes from the road, even for second. Then why do it? Do you think that you’re just a better driver than everyone else? Are you young and don’t think its possible that anything bad will happen to you, like an accident? Do you think that even if you did cause an accident that it would be hard to prove you were texting at the time? Are you possibly addicted to the phone and therefore unable to resist the urge to respond? Or do you just not care about your own safety or the safety of other drivers?

          I’m honestly not trying to be a jerk but I’m just really curious as to why people text while driving and since I don’t know you personally I think I might finally get an honest answer.

  • avatar
    Mr Imperial

    What about the sadly-dying concept of “Personal Responsibility?” And the fact that consequences exist for decisions made?

    Why must today’s world have an ever-increasing amount of monitoring/surveillance/eavesdropping, lock outs, other things meant to “protect” us for “the greater good?”

    Which (and how many) freedoms are we going to allow to be taken?

    Reminds me of the Event Data Recorders now used in cars. Who exactly owns it?

    /rant

    • 0 avatar
      thesparrow

      I’m in complete agreement with you about our collective loss of freedom and privacy. HOWEVER, I draw the line at people doing stupid, selfish, unnecessary things while driving that put me, my family, friends and neighbors in mortal danger. Nobody has the “freedom” to maim or kill innocent drivers or pedestrians. Driving is a privilege – one that should be treated responsibly and with respect for others.

      Tell me how you feel about the subject when an unaware texting driver is barreling down on you at 50mph while you are stopped at a light or on the freeway…

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Unfortunately, “personal responsibility” is not how much of the real world works (and not just people/individuals, but corporations as well – oh, wait, that’s redundant).

  • avatar
    George B

    I predict that this patent will never be used. Who pays? Certainly not the cellular carriers. Auto manufacturers aren’t going to add this unless mandated by government and they’re going to push back at least as hard as the cellular carriers. If mandated, it would be like parental controls built into every television, but rarely set up and turned on.

    The huge technical challenge in building this patent into a car is that if would have to cover all the communications standards and frequency bands used by cell phones by any carrier for the life of the car. No way the cellular license holders are going to allow any transmitter to use their spectrum without having total control over those transmitters and/or collecting money from anyone using their spectrum.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    This won’t be legal in the US, even if does work. (Transmitting without a license is illegal, but for exceptions such as CB radios.)

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Pch, cellular carriers do operate femtocell tiny base stations as well as all the individual cell phone transmitters under their licenses. They could legally set this up in exchange for control over the hardware and a monthly fee. However, if the hardware is built into the car, the PITA factor of upgrading the hardware and software makes this a tough sell unless they can bill a lot of money for the service. It’s hard to imagine most consumers paying a large extra monthly charge to make their cell phone less capable.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Jamming an authorized transmission is illegal. That’s what this would effectively being doing, as the phone carriers are licensed to operate and we are paying them to use their bandwidth and, by extension, their licenses to operate.

        That jamming dog won’t hunt under federal law. This may be legal elsewhere, but not in the US.

        • 0 avatar

          You don’t really need to jam it, just to know it’s going on.

          Once detected it could disable the engine next time the car comes to a full stop, or restrict the maximum speed to 30mph, or wind back the seat-belts and throttle the driver :-)

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            Or Siri, Ok Google, or Cortana could pipe up and warn the driver that it’s dangerous to use the phone under current conditions. Their actions could slowly escalate from warning, to disconnecting the call, or notifying the state trooper.

            Ok, forget the last one.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Correct: transmitting on public, unregulated bands (27MHz, 900MHz, 2.4GHz, 5GHz) is legal, but there are restrictions on transmit power.

      Cellphones use regulated bands. The only legal way to block those is a Faraday cage.

      Hyundai seems to be talking about either a picocell in the car (good luck with that!), or a device that could command the either the baseband or the operating system. Good luck with that, too

  • avatar
    Bradysdad

    Cell Phones have GPS chips, so they know if they are moving. Hussein Bolt can only run 20MPH, and even he can’t text at that speed. Just shut down all features except 911 if the phone is moving over 20MPH.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      So no one anywhere gets to use their phone riding in a car/bus/train/etc? Come on. The whole point of this tech is the hyper-local geofence that restricts it just to the driver’s seat.

      Quite frankly, given that road deaths have no skyrocketed even though we’re all neck deep in our iPhones at all times, I think this is a feel-good thing looking for a real application.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      >>Just shut down all features except 911 if the phone is moving over 20MPH.

      Umm… my phone uses cellular data for NAV. And sometimes, I give my son the phone to call Grandpa to tell him we are just coming off the highway and almost there. Other times, I use bluetooth handsfree calling. Should all these features simply be shut down when I am moving faster than 20mph?

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    If you install nannies and try to dictate my actions I will exercise my right to not buy your product.

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