Indian researchers invent RFID device that can block a driver's cell phone

Distracted driving is a big problem all around the world. Many states in the United States have laws on the books banning texting while driving or making phone calls while driving without using a hands-free device. The problem is these laws are difficult to enforce and many drivers simply ignore them. Researchers in India have come up with an interesting way to block only the driver's mobile phone while the vehicle is in motion.

The system uses RFID technology that can detect when the car is in motion and if the driver is trying to use a mobile phone. When the system determines the driver is trying to use a mobile phone, a low range mobile jammer is activated to block only the driver's phone from operating. According to the people who designed the system it would allow passengers to continue making calls and texting normally.

Another potential use for the system according to the designers could actively notify police when drivers are trying to use their phone while behind the wheel. That last bit will certainly get the privacy advocates in an uproar. I see problems with the system. It would block drivers being able to make phone calls in an emergency such as to alert police of a medical emergency or a dangerous driver without having to stop the car.

[via Smithsonian Mag]