AT&T wants to play a leading role in “smart car solutions” in the future and so it has launched a research project that could be the future of teen tracking. The technology might also be used to tell if an elderly driver is no longer driving safely.
The company has created a device that plugs into the car’s on-board computer to monitor a teen’s driving in real time AND that works with his cellphone so the parent can remotely disable the phone if the kid is texting while driving.
The device transmits info such as car speed, accelerating, steering and braking, as well as GPS coordinates. Then the phone, through an app, sends out information on its usage.
AT&T then uses cloud processing to analyze the two data streams and add data such as posted speed limits.
Parents can then be alerted as to where their teen is, if he’s wearing a seat belt, if he braked abruptly and if he was texting while any of that happened.
Then the parent can selectively turn on and off phone features.
The system can reveal one’s term driving habits and may also be used for insurance tracking—if a driver agrees to use the technology, he might receive a discount on insurance rates.
In the case of teen tracking, the device may be unplugged from the engine compartment, but the system would know it had been disabled, and the parent would get an alert.
AT&T said it might open up the system to developers to create additional services such as roadside assistance, theft management and car maintenance.
The project came out of AT&T’s innovation center in Israel as a result of a “fast pitch” presentation by Traffilog, which tracks fleets.
“We decided to repurpose Traffilog’s enterprise fleet management software, mesh it up with the AT&T Network and create a real time smart car policy solution allowing parents to control and understand teen driving habits,” said AT&T’s web page.
At this point, the system is still a research project without a commercial launch date.
Photo via Technology Review