BOCA RATON, Fla. - It's now illegal to text and drive in Florida.
But what if you couldn't do it in the first place?
Many use GPS map systems that show where cars are on the road. It's that system a professor at Florida Atlantic University harnesses to stop your phone from texting while your car is moving.
"If you are above let's say eight miles an hour, we can say, that's driving, I can stop you just like that," said engineering professor Daniel Raviv. The professor has developed technology that uses a combination of road maps and GPS data to determine who's on the road, then shut off their phone's texting features.
"My goal in what I do for my living is not money," he said. "It's to solve society's problems." But what if there's more than one person in the car? How does the blocking system know who is driving? The system can actually figure out which cell phone is in the front left part of the car. It assumes that phone belongs to the driver, and that's the one that gets blocked. "As simple as that," Raviv said. "I can block the person who is on the front left and leave alone the passengers."
He wouldn't demonstrate the software because he is still trying to sell it to wireless carriers.
He hopes they'll make his text block feature a standard option.
Yet he admits it raises a new privacy concern: Do you want Verizon or AT&T to know who you're traveling with?
"I can block any driver on any highway at anytime, regardless if I know anything about you or know nothing about you," said Raviv.
He says he has applied for a patent and is hoping to win the patent in the next few months.
He says it now has new relevancy as states like Florida increase limits on texting and driving.