The tech giant has reportedly submitted a patent for a new system that would make the iPhone virtually useless if it detects that the person intending to use its functions is also trying to drive.
The patent document - which was originally lodged in 2008 but has been made public only recently - states the phone would be able to establish if the driver is using it by assessing data collected by GPS, mobile mast locations and the phone's in-built camera. The document indicates the phone is ready to run the application as it is, with no modifications required to the hardware.
A number of Android smartphones already have a driving mode locking function, though the driver has to enable that system for it to work. The Apple technology is expected to instead activate once it senses the car is moving and the driver is trying to use the phone.
Tell us what you think: should smartphones stop working automatically? Or should it be left to the driver's discretion?