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"Do Not Disturb While Driving" coming to iPhone

Phone will silence alerts and remove access to home screen

When iOS 11 comes to iPhones (and iPads) later this year, the new operating system will include a "Do Not Disturb While Driving" mode. The new feature will detect when you’re driving and automatically silence all incoming alerts and notifications by default.

Business Insider reports that when the feature is activated, you won't even be able to get to your home screen to open any apps until you stop driving.

The feature will assume you are driving if your phone is connected to the car via Bluetooth and it can also use your phone's WiFi antenna to sense when you're moving at speed. The feature can however be overridden by turning on the screen with the power button before clicking a button marked "I'm not driving." 

Video: The mobile phone app that pays users $5 for spotting drivers using their phones

"It's all about keeping your eyes on the road," said Apple’s Craig Federighi. "When you are driving you don’t need to be responding to these kinds of messages. We think this is going to be a real important step in safety in the car."

Federighi said that contacts would receive a message saying, "I'll see your message when I get where I'm going" – but the phone can also be configured so that certain contacts can get through. Federighi said this was so that, "you have the peace of mind that you can get contacted."

Last month we reported how more than 200 drivers a day were caught using a mobile at the wheel immediately after tougher penalties for the offence came into effect on March 1.

Drivers now face a £200 fine and six penalty points on their driving licences for the offence, while those found using a phone within two years of passing their test will have their licence revoked.

Despite this, the RAC Foundation’s Steve Gooding said that the key message still wasn’t getting through.

"Driving is a safety-critical activity that requires our full attention. Hands need to be on the wheel and eyes looking out of the windscreen, not down at the phone screen.”

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