Patent

Should Hyundai Be Jamming Our Phones?

Company files patent to disable smartphones while driving.

Althoughit should have been pretty clear from the get-go, it seems that the world hasfinally begun to understand just how detrimental cell phone use is to ourdriving abilities. And with smartphones becoming a bigger part of everyone'slives, distracted drivers are causing more accidents and generally wreakinghavoc on our roads. But is it the car manufacturers' place to function as ourparents or law enforcement officers and take the choice out of individualdrivers' hands?

For some automakers, the answer is a clear 'yes.' Last month, we toldyou 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, "limitsand disables the use of some mobile device features which could causedistraction to the user, when the user is engaged in another activity." Asa 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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