Tech-giant Apple is facing a class action suit for its restraint in limiting texting and driving. Plaintiff Julio Ceja is filing the suit after a driver rear-ended him. The driver was texting instead of watching the road.
Apple, one of the largest makers of cell phones in the world, already holds a patent for locking users out users while they’re driving. Apple has thus far refused to implement the technology across its iPhone platform. The company said that “it will lose market share to other phone-makers who do not limit consumer use”. These companies include Motorola, Google, and Nokia.
The California law firm bringing the lawsuit against Apple has boosted their claim with extensive data also. They pulled from the California Highway Patrol and the US Department of Transportation. MLG Automotive Law said more than 52,000 Californians have been in an accident due to iPhone use while driving. They cited the US DOT, which said 1.5 million people nationwide are texting and driving at any given moment.
The suit seeks to limit sales of iPhones in California. Regardless of the direction this lawsuit takes, Apple is already looking on the horizon for the dangers of distracted drivers.
In December, Apple announced it was working on self-driving vehicles:
The company, which has been rumored to be interested in the automated car market for the past two years, confirmed its previously secret initiative in a statement to the US highways regulator.
“[Apple] is investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation,” said the letter from Steve Kenner, Apple’s director of product integrity, to the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Several other companies are testing self-driving cars as well.
Uber, the ride-sharing company that burst onto the scene just a few years ago, is already embracing self-driving technology. They partnered with Ford and sent some through Pittsburgh. Uber has also recently reached a partnership with Volvo.
Lexus did a self-driving text earlier this year. And Google has been experimenting with Lexus in self-automation because of their hackability.
Several of these companies have experienced complications as driver-responsible cars have had accidents with the self- driving cars. Obviously, there are bugs to work out, but when they are, iPhone lockout features will be less important, or even unnecessary.