Using your smartphone when driving is dangerous. There are no two questions about that. With Android Auto and Apple Car Play, the focus has shifted from the smartphone screen to the central console on the car. However, smartphone makers are working towards making driving and using the phone a safer experience. iOS 11 introduced the "Do Not Disturb While Driving" mode for the iPhone which users can turn on and off at will.
Android introduced something similar with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Now, Google has said that it will open the API used in the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL’s Driving DND mode to developers, for the purpose of creating better, distraction-free driving experiences for users. The Android developers blog post reads, “Behind the scenes, it uses AI powered on-device Activity Recognition that detects when a person is driving using low power signals from multiple sensors, bluetooth and WiFi. Activity Recognition uses the Android Sensor Hub to ensure low latency, low power and accurate driving detection. This is a next step in our journey, but we are far from done. Early next year we are introducing the Activity Recognition Transition Api, which is the same Api used by Driving Do Not Disturb to build distraction-free driving experiences. We appreciate the feedback, and will continue to listen to your feedback as the product evolves.”
How developers make use of the DND feature is yet to be seen and it is nice to see Google open up a critical safety feature to developers.
Google is actively working on making the user experience of its products better. Google Chrome will soon start blocking pesky website redirections. The feature will be active for Chrome users starting January 2018. Chrome will still allow meaningful redirection on websites. You can read mode details of this feature here.