With texting and driving gaining more and more attention, it was just a matter of time before the carriers jumped into the fray to offer a solution – and pad their wallets at the same time.
T-Mobile is one of the first carriers to offer a new service called DriveSmart that recognizes when the handset is moving at "car-like speeds" and automatically switches into Driver Mode. After that, all calls are forwarded directly to voicemail and all texts are responded to with a pre-programmed "I'm driving" message. Naturally, DriveSmart offers an override, but when it's disabled the account holder (read: Mom or Dad) get an email or a text alert. The service runs $4.99 a month to cover every line on one account, but it's only available on the Android-powered Optimus T for now, although T-Mobile says more phones will be able to use DriveSmart in the future. Amount of time until it's hacked, disabled and posted on Facebook? We reckon less than a month. Full details in the press blast below.
Location Labs Launches First Carrier-Grade Solution to Help T-Mobile Customers Prevent Texting While Driving
Leader in Mobile Personal Safety and Communication Products Attacks Distracted Driving Epidemic by Launching DriveSmart Plus with Automatic Driving Detections
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Location Labs, the leading provider of mobile location-as-a-service infrastructure and applications, today announced the launch of its DriveSmart™ Plus application on T-Mobile® devices, the industry's first carrier-grade service to help prevent texting while driving, specifically designed for T-Mobile customers with Android™ smartphones.
DriveSmart Plus is a subscription-based, opt-in service that automatically detects when a handset user is driving and sets the phone into a 'Driving Mode'. Once this service is activated, it disables most texting and calling features to the handset while the car is in motion, ultimately decreasing the possibility of unsafe, distracted driving.
"With our blazing fast network speeds, T-Mobile customers can do more on their phones than ever before while on the go," said Torrie Dorrell, vice president of applications, content and games, T-Mobile USA. "We feel strongly that with this freedom comes the responsibility to use their phones only when it is safe to do so. The T-Mobile DriveSmart Plus application is designed to keep our customers, their loved ones and the road safe."
"We continue to invest heavily in mobile personal safety services, for which we are seeing huge demand from consumers and families," said Tasso Roumeliotis, CEO of Location Labs. "We are thrilled to launch DriveSmart Plus on T-Mobile with our patent-pending drive-detection technology to help address the national crisis of distracted driving."
The industry's first carrier-branded service to help prevent texting while driving, DriveSmart Plus, automatically detects when a user may be driving and sets the phone into 'Driving Mode', sending incoming calls directly to voicemail and preventing access to text messages, except through applications specified by the customer. Additionally, an auto-response text message is sent to the person who phoned or texted alerting them the recipient is driving and unavailable to receive calls or messages.
In the event of an emergency or if the user is a passenger in a car, DriveSmart Plus allows the user to override 'Driving Mode'. Parents can choose to be notified by text message or e-mail when the override occurs and can view phone usage during the override from the DriveSmart Web interface.
DriveSmart Plus, powered by Location Labs, is available for download onto the LG Optimus T™, with support for more devices coming soon. T-Mobile subscribers can also visit http://www.my.t-mobile.com to learn more about the service.
About Location Labs
Location Labs is the leader in mobile location-as-a-service with consumer products that enhance the personal safety of millions of users and a location platform that enables 2,000+ developers to build their own rich location-based applications.
The company operates the world's most successful mobile location-based personal safety service, powering nearly a dozen products for Tier 1 carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Recent accolades include: 2010 Inc. 500 list of America's Fastest Growing Private Companies and San Francisco Business Journal's "Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies". The company has raised $26MM in venture financing from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, BlueRun Ventures (formerly Nokia Venture Partners), QUALCOMM Ventures, Intel Capital, and Mitsui Ventures. The company was previously operating as Wavemarket, Inc. More information: http://www.LocationLabs.com.