Perhaps a bit paranoid but definitely a step toward extreme prevention, AT&T is releasing a new app to discourage texting while driving. The new anti-texting technology will allow parents to remotely control their children’s cell phone service, cutting off their phones’ ability to text, browse the Web, or receive and make calls when they’re behind the wheel.
The app, slated for a September 19 release, gives parents the power to limit texting capabilities so teens cannot text while they are driving even if they wanted to. The app will also feature other safety precautions such as a GPS tracker to locate where the cellphone is located, and “Safety Violation Summary” with an alert system which will exts parents if their teens are driving at excessive speeds, making harsh accelerations, or performing dangerously sharp turns.
“Our goal is to save lives,” AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said. “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.”
It is unclear what platforms the apps will be available on but if its anything like previous AT&T apps, we expect it to be on at least iOS, Android, and Blackberry. Future models of AT&T phones may even have the app pre-installed and un-deleteable. AT&T advertises the new app for use in concurrence with its Drive Mode app, which will send an automatic reply to text senders that the recipient is currently driving and will get back to their messages at a safer time.
In addition to the new app, AT&T will launch “aggressive” social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter, television and radio commercials, pamphlets to be distributed in high schools, and work with celebrity endorsers to reach its younger target audience. The company also aims to build an online driving simulator at ItCanWait.com so those at home and experience the dangers of texting while driving, along with life-size simulators set to hit approximately 200 locations across the nation.
“We’re challenging everyone to take the pledge to never text and drive and to make it a lifelong commitment,” Stephenson said. “And we’re challenging all device makers and app developers to offer devices that come pre-loaded with a no-text-and-drive technology solution.”
Extreme? Maybe, but it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry. Watch the video below to see snippets of the upcoming app.