This morning marks another parenting milestone for me. The day my first child gets their drivers license.
It has only been a few hours since I saw his smiling face after passing the driving test. I'm excited for him, but also scared to death. I know how many distracted and bad drivers there are out there on the roads.
As a lover of technology, I've been thinking a lot about how I'd love to see car manufacturers and cell phone makers work together to make the time our teenagers spend in the car a bit more safe.
Here are some ideas on things I'd like to see. Some of them already exist in specific cars or phones, but I'd love to see them adopted across the board.
Phones Automatically Going Into Driving Mode
Anytime a paired phone connects to the Bluetooth in the car, phones should go into a "driving mode."
My Droid Turbo does this and I love it.
If a text message is received, the phone auto replies with a message that the user can set up.
Mine currently says:
[Auto Reply] I'm driving right now. If it is important, call me. #ItCanWait
There should also be an option where the text message is read allowed through the Bluetooth speaker and basic speech commands could have a reply sent if needed.
My phone does this, but not very well and every car and phone pairing should support this.
Outlaw Texting & Driving Across the County
I want to see this treated the same way that seat belts are.
Here in Massachusetts you receive only a $100 fine if caught doing it. It is steeper if you are a teenager, but still. I want this outlawed across the country.
I know it won't do a ton of good since we still have people drinking and driving, but it sure wouldn't hurt to make this change!
Enable Tracking of Cars to Parents
"Big Brother! Big Brother!"
Yeah, I know some people will be screaming that, but I'm ok with it.
I'd like to see parents having the ability to know where their kids are based on their phones. More just to check in and make sure they are where they should be, but also just to check in from time to time.
Even something like Glympse that I could ping would make me feel great.
In Car Controls Based on the Driver
Ford at one point had some of these capabilities, but I'd like to see them in more cars.
Many cars now have settings that remember seat positions and mirrors. I know when I get in my car it knows me based on my key.
I'd love if I could based on a key have the car lock some things down. Perhaps set a governor for speed or make it so the stereo couldn't be insanely loud. Perhaps this is what would turn on the tracking or the lockdown of the phones?
Send Maps From Home Computer to the Car
We are always looking up destinations on our computers at home.
Wouldn't it be great if we could click a button and it would use our FiOS WiFi to send it to the car GPS? Sure, we could just look up the location on our phones and if you use Google and Android they do sync, but I know some places don't allow teenagers to use their phones for GPS replacements.
I've longed to be able to connect my car to my home Wifi to be able to share media files, but being able to send maps and more would be great as well.
The more I think about these solutions, the more I wish they were options across the board. I'm not sure we'd turn them all on, but knowing that they were available would certainly give parents everywhere a bit of comfort whenever their teenager leaves the house with a car.
What other tech-based solutions would you love to see in cars and phones to help keep our kids safer behind the wheel?
Disclaimer - This post is my monthly commitment to the influencer teams for Verizon Wireless and FiOS that I am part of. All thoughts and opinions are my own.