Cell antenna detects unauthorized phone use

Dec. 29, 2011
A new antenna that attaches to a vehicle will detect cell phone use inside a truck cab. The device, from inthinc Technology Solutions, will offer an audible warning to a driver when phone or text usage is detected and send alerts to fleet managers

A new antenna that attaches to a vehicle will detect cell phone use inside a truck cab. The device, from inthinc Technology Solutions, will offer an audible warning to a driver when phone or text usage is detected and send alerts to fleet managers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently enacted a ban on all handheld cell phone use for commercial vehicle operators, with companies facing fines of up to $11,000 per violation committed by their drivers.

“The Dept. of Transportation has made it clear that the responsibility rests with the carriers and that written anti-cell use policies are not sufficient preventive measures,” said Todd W. Follmer, CEO of inthinc Technology Solutions. “Distracted driving accounts for 16% of traffic fatalities; our cell detection service provides the only reliable detection technology in the market, allowing managers to be notified when a cell phone is being used and take appropriate action.”

The antenna is integrated with inthinc’s comprehensive fleet management and driver safety solutions waySmart and tiwiPro and uses cell phone waves emitting from the vehicle to detect usage.

According to inthinc, the technology can decipher various wave frequencies including phone calls, text messages and emails. Managers may adjust the settings to either send an in-cab voice alert to drivers when a cell signal is detected, or quietly report the violation to the manager via email or text alert, the company added.

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