T-Mobile Introduces Drive Smart Android App, Block Texting While Driving

T-Mobile is partnering with Location Labs and introducing DriveSmart Plus, an Android app which will help stop texting while driving. With texting while driving becoming more and more of a hotbed issue, this is a welcome move to try and curb this dangerous practice. Of course, the final responsibility to fall on the user to practice good judgement and take advantage of these apps.

Enabling users to set their Android devices to automatically detect 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.”

There are two versions of the DriveSmart Plus App which the $4.99 version allowing parents to use a web interface to track the whereabouts of their children.

  • DriveSmart Basic – DriveSmart Basic comes pre-installed on select T-Mobile Android devices. With this free Basic version, the driver manually initiates driving mode, after which incoming text and call notifications are silenced, customizable text responses are sent to incoming texts and callers and incoming calls are sent to voicemail. If Bluetooth mode is enabled, calls will be routed normally through a Bluetooth headset.
  • DriveSmart Plus – DriveSmart Plus automatically detects when a user may be driving and sets the phone into ‘Driving Mode’, sending incoming calls directly to voicemail and limiting access to the phone. Just like in the Basic version, 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’.  Using the web interface, Parents can set phone access permissions and can choose to be notified by text message or e-mail when an override occurs and can view phone usage during the override.

Full Press Release:

Leader in Mobile Personal Safety and Communication Products Attacks Distracted Driving Epidemic by Launching DriveSmart Plus with Automatic Driving Detection

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.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100621/SF24320)

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,” saidTorrie 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.”

DriveSmart Plus

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.

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  • geeba

    Isn’t this gong against they’re genius button? Hands free texting in driving mode.

    • Ceilwolf

      That’s an awesome idea. Hands free text. Hmmm. They should consider that. Computers can be hooked up to mic and whatever you are saying is printed on the screen.

    • Ceilwolf

      That’s an awesome idea. Hands free text. Hmmm. They should consider that. Computers can be hooked up to mic and whatever you are saying is printed on the screen.

  • http://twitter.com/collinrupp Collin Rupp

    Go T-Mobile. Its awesome to see them throw their weight behind something like this.
    Just last week a young girl texting and driving through the parking lot at the mall ran over a person.

    • gooolloool

      That person should have watched out for cars, for all we know the person ran over was using a phone too.

    • Ceilwolf

      But if you are a passenger you cant use it unless you turn it off and the fine print should be read because you will most likely be charged to turn it off. There’s always all kinds of good stuff they don’t want you knowing in fine print.

  • http://twitter.com/nupagadi1 Sergo

    Driving Plus should be an app not a service a bit ridiculous paying $5 a month for it.

    • http://twitter.com/gatodelrio limonysal

      oh man I didn’t read everything – that they were charging for it?! LAME.

  • Really

    So it detects driving mode, but allows you to override if you’re the passenger. So if you’re conscious enough to turn it on driving mode, you’re probably not someone who’s texting and driving. Seems like a waste of time to me.

  • Really

    So it detects driving mode, but allows you to override if you’re the passenger. So if you’re conscious enough to turn it on driving mode, you’re probably not someone who’s texting and driving. Seems like a waste of time to me.

  • Anonymous

    Cue people complaining about Tmo spending money on this and not better phone/coverage

    • hi!

      didn’t even think about that but you make a damn good point. What a waste!

    • hi!

      didn’t even think about that but you make a damn good point. What a waste!

    • hi!

      didn’t even think about that but you make a damn good point. What a waste!

    • hi!

      didn’t even think about that but you make a damn good point. What a waste!

    • hi!

      didn’t even think about that but you make a damn good point. What a waste!

    • hi!

      didn’t even think about that but you make a damn good point. What a waste!

  • http://twitter.com/gatodelrio limonysal

    this is very innovative. way to go t-mobile!

    • Ali

      Innovative? What about the Drive Safe.ly app or all the other apps that are pretty much just like this?

  • munale

    what happens if your on a bus?

  • Anonymous

    Off topic question for Tmonews: Do you guys get paid for the ads when the page loads or when people click on the ad itself? Or neither?

    • http://tmonews.com David

      Never when people click, usually its based on page loads, but its much more complicated than that. A certain amount of ad space is pre sold based on expected traffic etc…

      • Anonymous

        Ok. I don’t feel bad for never clickin on the ads now. Thx.

        • http://tmonews.com David

          No I get it, you want me to starve!

      • Anonymous

        Ok. I don’t feel bad for never clickin on the ads now. Thx.

      • Anonymous

        Ok. I don’t feel bad for never clickin on the ads now. Thx.

    • http://tmonews.com David

      Never when people click, usually its based on page loads, but its much more complicated than that. A certain amount of ad space is pre sold based on expected traffic etc…

  • Anonymous

    Off topic question for Tmonews: Do you guys get paid for the ads when the page loads or when people click on the ad itself? Or neither?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VGQMRQOQYPZHFOGRIZ53F646KU Not ice_fusion.

    I guess even calls on bluetooth headset are out with this app, if calls are sent directly to voicemail. Ridiculous. This isn’t a “don’t text while driving” app, it’s a “don’t use your phone at all” app – some people like to use headsets. That and you have to pay for it to automatically detect anyway. The willpower it takes for people who want to stop texting while driving would have to be applied to remember to manually turn the thing on.

    • IfItsNotTmoIts2Slo

      “If Bluetooth mode is enabled, calls will be routed normally through a Bluetooth headset.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VGQMRQOQYPZHFOGRIZ53F646KU Not ice_fusion.

    I guess even calls on bluetooth headset are out with this app, if calls are sent directly to voicemail. Ridiculous. This isn’t a “don’t text while driving” app, it’s a “don’t use your phone at all” app – some people like to use headsets. That and you have to pay for it to automatically detect anyway. The willpower it takes for people who want to stop texting while driving would have to be applied to remember to manually turn the thing on.

  • timmyjoe42

    Ha. Love the shot of the old Nokia 6102.

  • timmyjoe42

    Ha. Love the shot of the old Nokia 6102.

  • timmyjoe42

    Can it be easily turned off in the event that you are a passenger?

  • http://freeapk.com best apps for android

    I think it’s easily turn off or make gps not work to avoid it

  • cheryl

    People walk and text and what if you are a passenger in the car?????

  • http://www.openxcell.com/mobile-application-development/android-development-india.html android app development

    I have many question about your post. I think you should write a lot of more details. But Thanks anymore.

  • Anonymous

    This piece of ^%$#%^ App just appeared on my wifes T-Mobile phone. It always thinks she’s driving, so it disabled her incoming calls, text, and just about everything else – even when she’s standing in the house right next to me. She says she didn’t install it; her phone just went dead about a week back.

    This thing also has no uninstall button, and it’s taken the priviledge of reading her contacts list and GPS. It has all the earmarks of pure spyware. I found this site Googling for a way to get rid of it. I may have to root the phone.

    T-Mobile, what were you thinking, foisting garbage like this on your customers? You SUCK!