The use of mobile devices in cars — specifically smartphones – has skyrocketed during the past 10 years leading to the scourge of distracted driving. According to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as many as 10 people are dying every day on the streets of the United States due to distracted driving, with the chief culprit being the smartphone.
The urgency of the problem of smartphone integration in cars has only been made worse by in-vehicle connectivity systems pushed by Apple (CarPlay) and Alphabet (Android Auto) further encouraging the use of smartphones in cars – but not always in a safe distraction-free scenario. Wireless carriers as well have been threatened with litigation by safety advocates for failing to do enough to mitigate distracted driving.
It’s clear that something must be done to protect drivers from their own worst instincts when bringing a smartphone into a motor vehicle. Global Mobile Alert (GMA) has an answer.
Global Mobile Alert long ago recognized the emergence of this crisis and developed the patented technology intended to not only solve the distracted driving problem but also to facilitate the development of vehicles capable of automated driving. At stake in the development of connected, location-aware safety systems making use of map and wireless connectivity to avoid collisions is a safety system market expected to exceed $100B by 2023 – by which time highly automated (i.e. Level 3 autonomous vehicles based on NHTSA definitions) vehicles will be on the road.
Combatting distracted driving was the spark of inspiration that gave rise to the Cellular Telephone Safety System technology, but automated driving will represent its full realization. Global Mobile Alert’s Cellular Telephone Safety System technology is capable of alerting drivers, while on a voice call, to the proximity of intersections but is also capable of wirelessly communicating the signal, phase and timing of traffic lights to approaching drivers.
A lot has changed since GMA first filed its Cellular Telephone Safety System patents. In the past 10 years a growing number of cars have been equipped with both smartphone connectivity systems and embedded telecom devices. At the same time, those same cars are increasingly outfitted with embedded maps.
GMA’s Cellular Telephone Safety System is designed to leverage the location awareness information from the built-in map to alert drivers to hazards on the road ahead. Enhancing the already proven value of GMA’s technology has been the emergence of automated driving. Here, too, the proposition of combining map-based location awareness with wireless connectivity is changing the driving experience and saving lives.
The latest step in this evolution is the emergence of technology and systems for communicating the signal phase and timing of traffic lights to drivers involved in active phone calls when their cars approach intersections at a predetermined distance. GMA has an answer here, too, as it owns the patent for wirelessly communicating the signal phase and timing (SPAT) of traffic lights to drivers when they are in an active mobile phone call mode.