The mobile phone provider is the first to implement technology that stops distractions at the network level.
Ready Mobile, a nationwide mobile service provider, is changing the game when it comes to ending the distracted driving epidemic. The phone provider has partnered with Boulder, Colorado based technology company Katasi to introduce wireless plans that include Groove, a module that can detect when a car is in motion and block mobile distractions before they even reach the driver’s phone.
Groove is a tiny gadget that plugs into the automobile’s on-board diagnostic socket which can detect within seconds if the car has exceeded a speed of five miles per hour (mph). Once the vehicle’s speed has been determined, Groove then sends a message to Ready Mobile informing the provider that their customer is driving, who in return disables the cellular device’s mobile capabilities, with the exception of hands-free calling.
Although Apple and Samsung have recently unveiled new “do not disturb while driving” features and there are apps that can be purchased or downloaded to prevent distracted driving, Ready Mobile CEO Dennis Henderson says Ready Mobile’s Groove is different in that there is no way for it to be turned off when one becomes impatient or bored while driving.
“The chief differentiators as opposed to an app, which can be turned on or off, or some solution in a vehicle that can be spoofed or otherwise circumvented, is that our solution is actually implemented in the wireless network,” Henderson explained.
When a Ready Mobile subscriber is driving with the Groove plug in, he or she is still able to place and receive calls using the vehicle’s “hands free” capabilities, but all other phone applications are blocked at the network levels. This means that the phone essentially will not have Wi-Fi or cellular ability— messages will not send or be received, emails will not download and websites will not load.
Ready Mobile is the first phone provider to offer this type of network level solution to distracted driving. They hope that other providers will take notice of the beneficial affects of Groove and offer similar solutions to their customers. “We think that we can be a catalyst that might encourage one or more of the big networks to come forward more quickly,” Henderson said. He hopes to prove that this solution can be both economically beneficial from a business perspective while also saving lives.
“It’s time for a solution like this,” Henderson continued, “and [Ready Mobile is] excited to be a part of that solution.”