Apple Car Play Now Stops You From Texting While Driving

Apple Car Play introduces ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature that blanks out the phone screen while driving.

Car and Bike
2 min read
Apple Car Play will blank out the screen of your iPhone when in the car. (Photo: Pixabay)

Texting and driving is a menace that is increasingly responsible for car accidents. One in four car accidents is reportedly due to texting while driving, according to a report by law firm Edgar Snyder. Cellphone use, while driving, accounts for 1.6 million crashes globally every year, says the report.

Apple is now trying to reduce that risk by introducing a ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature with IOS 11 and Apple Car Play.

An iPhone that is being used in a car will use Bluetooth and Wifi to figure out if you are driving, and will automatically blank out the phone’s screen so you won’t get any notifications. The same features will be available in Apple Car Play, so that only the entertainment features are accessible on the car’s music system, but the phone remains blank.

Of course, if calls come in, and the phone is connected to the infotainment system via Car Play, you can answer them over the car’s speaker system, without taking your hands off the wheel or eyes off the road.

The system can detect when the phone is in a car using Bluetooth and WiFi. (Photo: iStockphoto)
The system can detect when the phone is in a car using Bluetooth and WiFi. (Photo: iStockphoto)

People who send you text messages will get an automated “I’m driving right now” response, while the driver will not see anything on his phone.

But what about passengers in the car using iPhones? Well, Apple offers an override function, where you can click a tab that says “I’m not driving right now” which allows the phone to function. Of course, that’s a risk there as drivers can turn this off as well and continue to use their phones – but there really isn’t much one can do for such obstinate drivers.

Incidentally, Android Auto already has this feature where it can send automated texts saying “I’m driving right now” when Android phones are paired with the car’s infotainment system.

Although, Android does not turn off the phone’s screen, and you have to tap a tab to send that automated response message – still a bit distracting. However, both Apple Car Play and Android Auto will read your messages out loud so that you don’t have to take your eyes off the road, and you can even dictate replies if you want.

With all this technology at hand, one still sees drivers preferring not to use them, and instead, use their phones while driving. Nothing is foolproof, really.

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