DriveSmart is a new application available to some T-Mobile customers that can automatically detect when a user is driving and turns their phone into a quiet, unobtrusive paperweight until they have finished their journey.
When in “driving mode,” a phone running DriveSmart Plus from Location Labs will automatically silence all text and call notifications, send calls directly to voicemail, and, its most marked functions, block access to text messaging and send customizable auto-responses to any received texts.
T-Mobile’s VP of Applications, Torrie Dorrell, said of the service: “Customers can do more on their phones than ever before while on the go. We feel strongly that with this freedom comes the responsibility to use their phones only when it is safe to do so.”
Of course the technology comes with an override function in case of emergency, or in case DriveSmart is triggered from someone in the passenger’s seat (and they don’t want to chat with their driver). For wary parents who have purchased the app to protect their driving, texting teens, and worry that their child will abuse this override function, there is the option to be notified by a text or e-mail alert when override has been employed. The notifications can also be set-up to display how the phone is being used while in override mode.
A Basic Option
Location Labs also offers the aptly named, less advanced DriveSmart Basic. It has the same essential features and functionality as its upgraded counterpart, except it does not automatically detect when the user is driving, and instead must be manually initiated before the user goes tearing off through the neighborhood.
DriveSmart Basic comes pre-installed on select Android phones from T-Mobile. DriveSmart Plus requires a subscription and will cost $4.99 per month, with this charge covering all capable devices on a T-Mobile plan.