We’ve all had friends–ahem–who insist on checking their phones while driving. It’s a serious issue: 3,477 people were killed in 2015 due to distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Yet our phones, with their constant notifications and pings, are designed to grab our attention no matter the context.
Now, Apple is admitting that the iPhone itself might be partially responsible. With the upcoming release of iOS 11, your iPhone will have a Do Not Disturb mode for driving. That means it will automatically see when you’re driving–and suggest you switch to a driving mode.
What’s your iPhone look like in this new mode?
That’s right, your phone simply looks unappealing and dead.
Announced this afternoon at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference, or WWDC, the new mode isn’t mandatory, but it is automatically suggested when the phone recognizes you’re paired with a car via Bluetooth or moving at high speeds via GPS. If you choose to turn your screen back on, you’ll be reminded with a prompt that you’ve set your phone to Do Not Disturb. However, you can override it with a button press if you choose (or if you’re just a passenger).
Apple isn’t the first to introduce such a mode on the iPhone–in fact, both Waze and Pokèmon Go automatically kick into driving modes to restrict your actions while on four wheels–but it is encouraging to see Apple adopt it at the OS level. Because we really shouldn’t be on our phones while driving. And frankly, we don’t seem to have the self-control to manage that impulse on our own.MW