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Apple announces new 'do not disturb while driving' mode

8 June 2017

Apple has announced that its next iPhone software update will feature a ‘do not disturb while driving’ mode.

Due later this year, the iOS 11 update will provide all iPhones with the function, which is designed to address the dangers associated with smartphones and distraction.

The software will sense when a person is driving, and when activated will block notifications from calls, texts and social media. The user won't even be able to access the phone’s homescreen to open apps.

The driver will be able to set an automatic text response to notify anyone attempting to make contact that they’re currently behind the wheel.

The new feature will assume a person is driving if their phone is connected to the car via Bluetooth. Alternatively, it will use a phone's WiFi antenna to sense when it’s moving at car speeds.

Passengers will be able to override the feature by turning on the screen with the iPhone power button and then clicking on a button marked ‘I'm not driving’.

Once the update has taken place, Apple will prompt drivers to use the new feature on the first occasion that they drive with an iOS 11-powered iPhone.

AA president Edmund King said: "Our research shows that we need to do more to stop drivers using their phones at the wheel, and technology can help.

"More than half of young drivers can't bring themselves to turn off their mobile phones before driving.

"Whilst the responsibility for not using a handheld phone at the wheel lies firmly with the driver, we welcome developments such as Do Not Disturb While Driving, which could remove the temptation to answer the phone for some drivers."

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