• Jul 8, 2010
Ray LaHood, the Department of Transportation's boss, recently had the revelation that looking down at your phone for four seconds while behind the wheel means you're "driving the length of a football field without watching the road." The DoT goes on to claim that distracted driving took the lives of up to 6,000 Americans in 2008 alone, with many more severely injured. Ford knows the stats and believes that texting while driving should be banned, but at the same time, many of the company's vehicles come with SYNC, arguably the most interactive infotainment system on the market.

The Detroit News reports that Ford's second generation SYNC system will address distracted driving head-on with the ability to block out all external stimuli while the vehicle is in motion. The "Do Not Disturb" switch will be available first in the MyFord Touch-equipped 2011 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX models. The DND button will block phone calls and text messages while retaining hands-free calling and 911 Assist, which dials up 911 in the event of an emergency. Also blocked is typing on a keypad for text or Internet and narrowing navigation and phone choices. The only question now is: Who's going to turn the feature on?

[Source: The Detroit News]


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  • 32 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've read about your product before, you're corporate office is right down the street from me as a matter of fact. It's definately an interesting service. I don't think I would ever put it on my phone personally, I'll just refrain from using my phone, but if I ran a business I would want it on every one of my employees phones, and if I had kids they'd have it as well.

      I have always wondered though, if you have this on your phone and you are a passenger, how can it tell the difference?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good, there are too many gizmos in cars that distract people from driving
      • 4 Years Ago
      MY GPS has the same feature, and I used it awhile but it became quickly impractical. So the key is that the "safe-mode" need to do enough and work in the "real world" realities. In the case of my GPS, once you get to where you are going, you have to turn the sound (or tell it to stop trying to find the location), as it will go crazy bleaping and talking as it thinks you have missed your target (so a mute key needs to be easy to get too, or an option to stop talking 5 seconds after you get to where you are going).

      I am waiting for unit that reads and can type up an text message (as that would be a big help).
        • 4 Years Ago
        I already send and read sms and emails through Ford Sync by voice, and it works very well. I use dial2do. The voice to text conversion is very accurate too.

        Give it a try.
      • 4 Years Ago
      6,000 Americans have spoken. Now if they could only have an app to stop drunk drivers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        more like 6,000 Americans now can't speak
      • 4 Years Ago
      SimpleCar fails at life.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'd use this feature quite often depending on who's in the car with me. Sometimes I don't want to be bothered when certain people are my passengers. Not so much for safety, but for convenience.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Don't want your wife finding out about your mistress, huh?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hey! how'd you know? ;-p

        Clients in car actually.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'd use this.

      I find myself frequently talking on the phone while driving, and even once texting while driving, and I never intend to do so. The issue is that while I never initiate a conversation, I frequently receive calls, and once the phone starts ringing, you're basically screwed.

      You can choose not to answer the phone, in which case you wait for half a minute while the phone rings distractingly, or you can figure out how to dismiss the call, which is even more distracting, or you can just answer the call and hope the other person isn't offended when you say, "can't talk, driving," and hang up -- which still keeps you distracted for about 30 seconds.

      I'd have no problem missing a few phone calls, as long as I can get back to them as soon as I'm finished driving.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not really. The most you can conveniently do on most phones these days is set it to vibrate, which is even louder than my ringtone (the cinematic sounds of Mono in VCF). And if you do successfully manage to turn off both the ringer and vibration, how would you remember to turn them back on when you get out of the car? Or, for that matter, turn them off every time you get in the car?

        It makes much more sense to have you phone know that when you're in the car, the ringer should be off, which I believe is part of the invention here.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oprah will be ecstatic! Seriously, texting-while-driving is getting to be a serious problem to the point where these types of systems are absolutely mandatory.

      I'm all against the nanny state, don't get me wrong, but sometimes this kind of action is necessary.
        • 4 Years Ago
        While a nice feature, it will do very little to stop texting while driving. People who are determined to do it, will. They don't have to sync their phones, so no sense making it mandatory.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "The DND button will block phone calls and text messages while retaining hands-free calling and 911 Assist"

      How is hands-free calling retained if phone calls are blocked?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'll try to clarify; The Do Not Disturb feature can be turned on/off with the push of a button (or voice command). If it is turned off, obviously you can make calls and recieve texts. If you turn on "Do Not Disturb", Incomming text messages and phone calls will be blocked (because incomming calls/messages are "disturbing" while you're driving). You can still make outgoing calls and texts if you want to because you're chosing to.

        AB missed a key word in the article. "The DND button will block phone calls and text messages while retaining [OUTGOING] hands-free calling and 911 Assist"
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm pretty sure pretty much everybody missed the point. This is a button you can press to stop incomming calls and text messages. It's called "Do Not Disturb/ DND" so that drivers won't be disturbed by incomming calls/texts while they're driving if they choose to press the button, which means it isn't on unless you turn it on and you can make outgoing calls/texts.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ah, that makes much more sense. Thank you for the clarification!
      • 4 Years Ago
      At least you have the option to turn it off.

      The day this is mandatory is the day when I wonder why they dont put something in place on every car where you have to have your BAC checked before the engine starts.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Really it should be an automatic feature only disabled by a weight sensor in the passenger seat
      • 4 Years Ago
      why do people look down at their phones?

      in the rare instances when i need to use the phone, i hold it in front, above the steering wheel, where I can see the road and phone simultaneously.
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