iPhones will soon benefit from a much-wanted feature, which will undoubtedly reduce distracted driving. At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference held on Monday, June 5, the company shared that iOS 11 would include a Do Not Disturb While Driving mode.
Apple was sued over claims that the company has the resources and technology to stop people from using their iPhone while driving, but it did not implement the same. The use of such a technology would be instrumental in saving lives lost due to distracted driving.
The rise in number of road accidents due to distracted drivers is concerning and Apple has finally taken a stand to prevent individuals from using their iPhones while driving.
What Is The Do Not Disturb While Driving Feature iOS 11 Will Bring?
The company's Senior Vice President of Apple's Software Engineering division Craig Federighi announced the feature's arrival on iOS 11.
The Do Not Disturb While Driving or DNDWD feature detects when the user is driving a car and will automatically turn off all notifications. By doing so, the iPhone user does not get distracted while he/she is on the road.
With the help of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature will determine whether a user is driving the car or not. If it detects that a user is driving, the feature will turn off all notifications or alerts on the iPhone. The user will not even be able to access the home screen to open an app, unless they have finished driving.
However, Apple has given users the liberty to set an automated text message, which will be sent to family or friends while the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature is on. One can let their near and dear ones know that they will call back once they are done driving.
If the iPhone is connected to the car via Bluetooth, the system will be able to pick up whether the user is driving or not. Other than that, if the iPhone's system detects the car's moving speed using the Wi-Fi antenna, the feature will be switched on.
Apple will introduce this feature on iOS almost six months after the company was sued with a class action lawsuit for not introducing such a system. The lawsuit was initiated by a victim whose car was rear-ended by another vehicle whose driver was using his iPhone to text while driving.
Do Not Disturb While Driving Mode: Will It Really Help?
In a counter argument, many critics assert that the Do Not Disturb While Driving mode won't serve its purpose as a user can easily disable the feature. Moreover, this technical feature also disregards many scenarios where communication to others can be important or even necessary, especially during a life-threatening situation.
Critics argue that an iPhone user will be able to bypass the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature by simply starting the home screen with the help of the power button and then selecting the button marked "I'm not driving." This selection will prompt the smartphone's system to shut down the feature.
Moreover, even though Apple built-in some caveats, an iPhone user has other way to bypass the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature and use the smartphone while driving. For instance, one can indicate to the device that they are the passenger, which will override the feature and enable one to use the iPhone. Similarly, an iPhone user can designate some break-through contacts who can bypass the mode and one gets calls and texts from them.
Additionally, this mode will arrive with iOS 11, so iPhone users who do not update to the new OS and stay put on the older versions may also be able to override the feature.