AT&T Working to Let Parents Remotely Disable Their Kids’ Smartphones While They DriveBy: Josh Wolford - August 15, 2012
AT&T, if not the most dedicated, is definitely the most visible company out there when it comes to saying no to texting and driving. You’ve probably seen their TV ads as of late, featuring victims and the families of victims discussing their own tragedies at the hands of texting and driving. As of now, they’re some of the most powerful advertisements on television.
It’s all part of AT&T’s larger anti-texting while driving campaign called “It Can Wait.” Earlier this year, AT&T commissioned a survey into teen texting activities and found that 43% of teens admitted to texting while driving. But the truly interesting figure from the study was that 97% of the same teens admitted that it was a dangerous activity.
Three-quarters of the teens in the survey said that texting while driving was a “common practice” among their friends.
So what’s the takeaway here? Maybe it’s that teens are going to do it, no matter how conscious they are of its danger. At least maybe that’s what AT&T took away from the survey, because they’re in the process of developing technology that would take the texting and driving choice out of the teenagers’ hands.
Today, the company released a roadmap of sorts, complete with the details of key initiatives within their “It Can Wait” campaign. As a part of that release, AT&T unveiled this video that documents the steps they are taking to put teen phone activity while driving in the parents’ control.
Here’s how the software would work; Parents can receive text messages that alert them to when their teens are trying to make calls or send text messages. And it can also notify parents of any “excessive speeding” going on, as well as plot the teen’s course on a map.
Or, they can just remotely disable any and all phone functions – that means sending and receiving texts and calls.
Check it out below:
“Our goal is to save lives,” said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. “I hear from far too many people whose lives have been forever changed by a texting-while-driving accident, and together, we want to spread the word about how deadly a single text can be. Texting and driving should be as unacceptable as drinking and driving.”
Texting while driving is a bad idea. No matter how good you think you are at multitasking, you’re going to be distracted – and it’s not up for debate. But is this concept a bit too much? Creepy, perhaps? I mean, we could also plant GPS chips inside our kids that double as shock collars.
But that would be a little overbearing, right?