Distracted Driving and GPS and Cellphone Taxi Dispatch


Prior to designing Call-A-Cab, I studied distracted driving and the only driver interfaces are the Driver ‘in/out’ application and use of the cellphone itself.

Here are the Smartphone screens for Call-A-Cab operation:


The first screen is like any other, including easy access for essential operations such as Phone, Google Maps, Square Credit Card, and the Call-A-Cab application.

These are easy to find with barely a glance and one thumb to open.

The Call-A-Cab driver app, once opened, is a plain black screen with a bar going across the entire screen, requiring just one fat thumb to operate and barely a glance to confirm update. It is one button for checking either ‘in’ or ‘out’ of the map.

Answering Incoming Calls

Call-A-Cab is designed for customers to find the GPS map and locate the closest available taxi, and Autodial that taxi to talk directly to the driver. The driver is then on the way in about 10 seconds. This short time is essential to start competing and beating Lyft and Uber claims of servicing calls in ten minutes. The driver doesn’t have to take notes or text information. The customer’s phone number is in the Smartphone call history.

However, answering the phone conflicts with Anti-Texting and local Cellphone use laws (cited below).

I see some drivers using Bluetooth earpieces or in-line Earbuds, but the sound quality is iffy and I find in-ear devices uncomfortable.

I prefer an inexpensive Bluetooth speaker. The Bluetooth speaker not only allows you to play radio or broadband programming, but only requires a push of a button to activate the Speakerphone, and customers tell me the sound quality is excellent. The Craig is available at WalMart or Office Depot for $15 to $20.

For your information, here are some resources concerning Distracted Driving:

Medical Studies and Legal Reports

While distracted driving includes any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the primary task of driving, the use of electronic devices while driving is particularly dangerous as they require visual, auditory and cognitive attention and often some form of manual attention as well. Unlike distractions such as eating, selecting pre-set radio stations, etc., electronic devices are more interactive and require greater time commitment and continual attention, response and manipulation to obtain a desired result . . . Crash risk increases dramatically – as much as four times higher . . . U.S. State and Federal Laws Targeting Distracted Driving, J.D. Catherine Chase, Ann Adv Automot Med. 2014 Mar; 58: 84-98, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4001667/

New Mexico Anti-Texting Law

66-7-374. Texting while driving.
A. A person shall not read or view a text message or manually type on a handheld mobile communication device for any purpose while driving a motor vehicle, except to summon medical or other emergency help or unless that device is an amateur radio and the driver holds a valid amateur radio operator license issued by the federal communications commission.

B. The provisions of this section shall not be construed as authorizing the seizure or forfeiture of a handheld mobile communication device. Unless otherwise provided by law, the handheld mobile communication device used in the violation of the provisions of this section is not subject to search by a law enforcement officer during a traffic stop made pursuant to the provisions of this section.
C. C. As used in this section:
(1) “driving” means being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle on a highway or street and includes being temporarily stopped because of traffic, a traffic light or stop sign or otherwise, but “driving” excludes operating a motor vehicle when the vehicle has pulled over to the side of or off of an active roadway and has stopped at a location in which it can safely remain stationary;
(2) “handheld mobile communication device” means a wireless communication device that is designed to receive and transmit text or image messages, but “handheld mobile communication device” excludes global positioning or navigation systems, devices that are physically or electronically integrated into a motor vehicle and voice-operated or hands-free devices that allow the user to compose, send or read a text message without the use of a hand except to activate, deactivate or instant a feature or function; and
(3) “text message” means a digital communication transmitted or intended to be transmitted between communication devices and includes electronic mail, and instant message, a text or image communication and a command or request to an internet site; but “text message’ excludes communications through the use of a computer-aided dispatch service by law enforcement or rescue personnel.

Craig CMA3569



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