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Project Help and Ideas » Texting while Driving

September 10, 2012
by Pew446
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My brother gave me a great idea for a new project that could potentially save lives. He mentioned that every car since 1996 has the OBD-II port somewhere usually under the steering wheel. He said I should make some kind of device similar to the Progressive Snapshot that plugs right into that port, and instead of diagnostics or such, it has a built in bluetooth adapter that can connect to apps I will develop for phones, and when the phone detects the OBD-II port, it will connect via bluetooth and disable the use of the phone for anything other than emergency calls. I thought it was a great idea and something I am capable of doing. I will go into more detail later, but I will post any progress on this project here. For the record, no, I have not abandoned my WiTricity project. I'm just lazy. First, I will need a bluetooth adapter for the 168/328. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm looking for something small. Thanks!

September 11, 2012
by Rick_S
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  1. Keep in mind, most OBDII Bluetooth adapters (like the Chinese knock off ELM327's) do not power down when the vehicle is off and can drain the battery if left plugged in for an extended period w/o the vehicle being started. (Personal experience there)
  2. If you don't intend to talk to the Vehicle's diagnostic port, why not power the vehicle side device from something else that is ingnition switched?
  3. While this is a noble thought, how will you force someone to use an app on their phone to disable their texting? I don't know of a teenager out there that would enable that app. It would have to be built into the phone so it couldn't be disabled.
  4. At some point in time, doesn't someone have to take responsibility for themselves?
  5. What if someone is just 'hanging out with friends' sitting at a restaraunts parking lot? Texting or phone use could be OK then right??

Just some food for thought, ideas similar to yours have been knocked around for some time (mainly since the press made this a national agenda) but there are many pitfalls that would have to be overcome to make it work properly and fair.

September 14, 2012
by Pew446
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Sorry for the late reply,

1. Well I planned on creating my own board for the OBD-II, and attaching an ATMEGA compatable bluetooth board to it. This way I can send specific data and turn off the bluetooth when the car isn't running.

2. OBD-II would be easier, because all you have to do is plug it in and forget about it. There is no wire twisting or soldering involved.

3. Parents can put locks on phones that will make it so the phone user can't uninstall an app, and the app will be password protected so the user can't modify the settings. If the bluetooth is manually turned off, the app will automatically turn it on again. Sure, this might drain battery, but keep a car charger in your car and you'll be fine.

4. If the parent feels the child is responsible enough to not have the blocker, then they can take it out. It's not permanent.

5. If the car is off, say, in a parking lot, then they can text and call and such.

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