Patent

Should Hyundai Be Jamming Our Phones?

Company files patent to disable smartphones while driving.

Although it should have been pretty clear from the get-go, it seems that the world has finally begun to understand just how detrimental cell phone use is to our driving abilities. And with smartphones becoming a bigger part of everyone's lives, distracted drivers are causing more accidents and generally wreaking havoc on our roads. But is it the car manufacturers' place to function as our parents or law enforcement officers and take the choice out of individual drivers' hands?

For some automakers, the answer is a clear 'yes.' Last month, we told you about parental controls offered on the Chevy Malibu. Now, Hyundai has filed a patent for an in-car smartphone function, disabling the device or its applications in proximity of the steering wheel. The system, Hyundai says, "limits and disables the use of some mobile device features which could cause distraction to the user, when the user is engaged in another activity." As a potentially life-saving device, the Koreans' development is certainly based on good intentions. But are they going too far by trying to control what buyers can and can't do in their cars?

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