Louisiana Patent of the Month – January 2021

We all know texting while driving is dangerous. Even making calls while driving can cause driver distraction, leading to fatal outcomes. And some hands-free technology isn’t completely hands-free. There are laws against distracted driving and some insurance companies may offer low rates for individuals who don’t use their mobile device while driving, but this is hard to monitor. There are some apps and technology that can monitor this type of cell-phone use. However, many of these apps are not transferable between competing operating systems, such as Android and Apple. For this reason, Cellcontrol Inc. has developed a driver identification and data collection system to track and monitor mobile use while driving. 

Cellcontrol’s system first identifies the location of the phone within any car, truck, or other vehicle. It does this with the use of a controller, mounted within the vehicle, that sends two audio signals, one towards the driver’s seat, and the other towards the passenger’s. These signals are recognized by a software installed on the phone. The controller and the software then communicate through the signals to identify the location of the phone. This way it’s easier to tell if the phone was on the driver’s side or was just a passenger’s phone. Then, software – designed to prevent distracted driving – will not allow the use of the phone while it is on the driver’s side of the vehicle. It will block and limit the use of the phone. And it won’t work if the driver tries to fool the system by placing it far away or leaning away from the driver’s seat. 

Are you adapting existing technology for a new application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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