A team at Stevens Institute of Technology and Rutgers in New Jersey have created a system which shuts down a driver's phone without affecting other people in the vehicle.
It utilises a phone's Bluetooth connection and a vehicle's speakers to detect if the driver is using their mobile phone while driving, reports CNET.
The system measures the acoustic signals emitted from the stereo and the proximity of the phone to the Bluetooth receiver, essentially pinging both systems to determine where the phone is being operated.
Once the ownership is determined, the phone can decide if it needs to lock down services, according to CNET.
Using a vehicle's existing Bluetooth and audio technology, researchers have figured out how to block smartphone use by people behind the wheel
However, problems to overcome include the amount of road, wind and background noise interfering with the acoustic signals and a general lack of Bluetooth connectivity in most vehicles.
Current anti-distracted driving technology uses an app that runs in memory and uses the phone's GPS to figure out if a user is in a vehicle or not.
But this means that if a mobile phone user is in a bus, taxi, or passenger seat, the phone shuts down, and its effectiveness also depends on the phone's signal strength.
taken from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2071428/How-researchers-shut-mobile-phone-youre-driving.html#ixzz1g3KVatDh