updated 04:44 pm EDT, Wed July 11, 2012
Flawed patent uses combination of speed and captcha
Research In Motion has been granted a patent to help prevent texting while driving. Approved by the USPTO, the patent halts the creation of outbound messages when it is in motion in a certain range of speed, preventing drivers from being distracted by responding to incoming messages, albeit with a minor flaw.
If the user of the handset is able to text and e-mail safely, they have the option of bypassing the speed-based restriction by completing a captcha, visual puzzle, or similar kind of test. Ultimately, this would not deter those determined to send messages from behind the wheel, which would explain why RIM has not implemented the system into any of its handsets.
A Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study found that commercial drivers are 163 times more likely to put themselves into a life-threatening situation behind the wheel when texting or accessing the Internet, which led towards calls by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to ban phone use by drivers across the entire US. [via Engadget]