Case 1310: Automatic Prevention of TWD


Case 1310: Automatic Prevention of TWD

Now that we have developed a basic concept of the system that is supposed to prevent texting while driving, we must think of details as to how users can disable the system and could text while driving.


Amateur inventors often skip the question “What can go wrong?” That is simply because they are so enamored in their idea that they have invented something extremely valuable and believe that nothing could go wrong.   I receive many inquiries from those amateur inventors regarding their finally obtained and expensive patents. In the real world they often find that these patents are useless because they had overlooked some serious blind spots either in the basic concept or its execution, which made the patent pretty much useless.


I have often wondered why amateur inventors overlook the question of “What can go wrong” thoroughly. It seems that psychologically they do not want to find out that their scheme ultimately would fail. Finding a solution that seems to solve an existing problem is a wonderful feeling at first. My observation has been that amateur inventors then close their mind for observation, and start next step of speaking with intellectual property lawyers or writing up application.


So let’s examine the currently proposed scheme of preventing texting while driving. Our basic system of Automatic Prevention of TWD consists of two major elements. An infrared lighting system showers the driver sitting in the driver’s seat. The infrared lights are buried inside the ceiling panel, and the driver cannot see where these elements are located.


However, a flat ceiling inlay sheet made out of infrared opaque material would most definitely block the infrared shower, and can easily disable the system.  The probability of some driver doing to his car may be negligibly small, however, the answer to the question “What can go wrong” is found.


Secondly, a person with reasonable automotive electronic knowledge could severe the power cable supplying the power to the infrared shower LED’s, and disable the system. That’s “what can go wrong” NO.2.


Let’s look at the cell phone part of the system. This scheme calls for modification of the cell phone to be sensitive to the infrared lighting. Since the driver would hold his/her cell phone with its face up, the phone must be equipped with infrared sensitive receptor to detect the infrared shower. When the cell phone detects the infrared shower, it disables the texting function. As an option, perhaps we should maintain cellphone’s capability to receive and transmit conversation. Here is another weak point against “what can go wrong” question. Some opaque material can be placed to block the infrared sensitive sensor on the front of the cell phone. This will most definitely disable the Automatic Prevention System of TWD.


Therefore, after requesting all automobile manufactures to modify the ceiling area above driver, and all cell phone manufacturers to install distributed infrared sensors on the front of the phone, we have found three weakness of the system.   That is 1) a possible addition of the ceiling panel to block the infrared shower, 2) possible severing of the power supply for the infrared shower, and 3) disabling the infrared sensors on the cell phone.


Assuming that this system is the most reasonable and fool-proof way to prevent TWD, our next HUGE question is “who is going to ask those all mighty car makers and cell phone makers to change their design. Unfortunately, only the US Government can do that, and probably sufficient number of people would die on the highway from TWD before the government would consider taking action.


Good examples are installation of seat belts and subsequent installation of airbags in cars.  The government with the help from the insurance industry pushed the issue and mandated despite the strong objection from the auto industry.


One way or the other I plan to pursue taking patent on this invention even though the possibility of causing the action by the government to change design of cars and cellphones is slim. What I plan to demonstrate is the fact that the concept probably is workable, but there are many other reasons that patent couldn’t be put into practice.


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