Okay, we all know we really shouldn’t text and drive. But temptation is strong and sometimes getting back to someone right now feels more important than anything else.
It’s not, of course, but it’s a feeling that can be difficult to shake, even if we know it’s dangerous. That’s why Samsung is working on a new app that will respond to text messages for you while you drive.
Called In-Traffic Reply, the app will automatically respond to text messages when you’re in the car or riding a bike. The app relies on phone sensors and GPS to detect when you’re in a moving car or bike and will send a preset reply to incoming texts.
The app, which is currently being beta tested in the Netherlands, lets you choose two different types of replies right now. The default “I’m driving, so I cannot answer at the moment” responses or you can opt for a “fun” response with some sort of animation (I really hope it’s a GIF). When it launches, Samsung plans to allow users to create a customized canned response as well.
Exactly how this works is unclear. Samsung’s statement on the app doesn’t reveal how the app would distinguish between drivers and passengers, for instance, but even the relatively simple functionality could go a long way toward preventing texting and driving.
Traffic deaths are on the rise in the United States and smartphone-enabled distractions could be at least partially to blame. Yet despite this, few tech companies do anything to explicitly discourage people from using their services while they’re in the car.