Thursday, March 22, 2012

Physicists Can Detect If You Are Texting While Driving

Ah, the joy of statistical analysis.

Soon, there is a way to know if you are texting while driving (and hopefully, haul your rear end off the streets). Physicists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory can now look at how your text output is being affected by your driving, and can accurately predict if you are texting while driving.

People who are texting "time-share" their attention between driving and texting, Watkins said. They look down briefly and then up again to check the road.

When Watkins compared the keystrokes from driving and nondriving texters, the differences were consistent and quantifiable, he said. Drivers text and pause and text again, without the rhythm of usual texting.
They didn't say where this research was published, but I think I found it with a bit of searching.

 "Autonomous detection of distracted driving by cell phone" M.L. Watkins et al.  14th International IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSC), 2011.


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