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Now, 'Key2SafeDribving' to keep teen drivers from using cell phones

By Hari Krishnan

Washington, December 14 (ANI): Engineers at the University of Utah engineers say that they have created a wireless car key that can prevent teen drivers from using their cell phones while driving.

The researchers have named their innovation 'Key2SafeDribving technology'.

They say that each driver of a car would have a separate key device, which sends signal to his/her phone, putting it in "driving mode" so that it cannot be used to talk or send texts.

According to them, the phone will display a stop sign while in driving mode.

The university has obtained provisional patents, and licensed the technology to a private company that hopes to see it on the market within six months at a cost of less than 50 dollars per key plus a yet-undetermined monthly service fee.

"The key to safe driving is to avoid distraction. We want to provide a simple, cost-effective solution to improve driving safety," says Xuesong Zhou, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering who co-invented the system with Wally Curry, a University of Utah graduate now practicing medicine in Hays, Kan.

Zhou says that "at any given time, about 6 percent of travelers on the road are talking on a cell phone while driving. Also at any given time, 10 percent of teenagers who are driving are talking or texting."

Ronn Hartman, managing partner of Accendo LC, says that if things go as planned, the Key2SafeDriving system will be licensed to cell phone service providers to include in their service plans, instead of directly selling it to customers.

Hartman hopes that automobile and insurance industry will back their technology. (ANI)

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