At a keynote address during Apple’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 5, the company unveiled upgrades to popular products like the iPad and iMac, a new smart speaker that will complete with Amazon’s Echo and Google Home, and a new operating system. However, one feature of Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 11, stuck out.
The feature is called Do Not Disturb While Driving, and does exactly what it sounds like—it doesn’t disturb you while you’re driving.
— Mike Murphy (@mcwm) June 5, 2017
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, 3,477 people were killed and another 391,000 drivers suffered injuries in 2015 because of distracted driving.
Distracted driving is a serious issue that has yet to be curbed and Apple wants to play a part in putting an end to it.
Although apps designed to prevent distracted driving already exist, Apple is hoping that their software improves on them. Just like Android Auto automatically turns on when an Android phone connects to a car’s Bluetooth, the Do Not Disturb feature will turn on when an iPhone connects to a car via Bluetooth or a cable. Apple also mentioned that your iPhone will also use speed to determine if the feature should be turned on.
However, unlike Android Auto, you won’t be able to do much more than follow directions on Apple Maps and use Apple CarPlay.
The Do Not Disturb feature stops all notifications from coming to your phone and keeps your phone’s screen black.
If you’re worried about missing important texts, users can set up an automatic reply, which will be sent whenever they receive a text. If the recipient absolutely needs to see the text, the sender can reply to the automatic message with “urgent” and the recipient will see the notification.
And, of course, Apple would hate for passengers to be without their phones for a car ride, so there is a way to disable the feature.