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AEMP Focus on Technology: What Apple's DNDWD Feature Means for Your Fleet

Thursday, June 8, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Georgia Krause
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If your fleet depends on using either employee iPhones or company supplied Apple devices, the newest update to the Apple brand mobile operating system, iOS 11, will probably affect your fleet. Included in Apple's latest iOS for iPhones and iPads is the Do Not Disturb While Driving (DNDWD) feature. 


DNDWD is simple concept. When you enable the iPhone's DNDWD feature, the iOS can detect when the phone is in motion using either the Bluetooth connection or the phone's WiFi hook up to triangulate the speed and location of the device which presumably is on your vehicle's dashboard, in your pocket, or somewhere nearby in your cab. DNDWD uses components already in the current iPhone configuration.

When the phone senses you are in motion (driving) DNDWD stops all texts, news updates, and alerts that usually vie for your attention. Texts sent to you will get an auto-reply explaining to the sender that you are driving and will respond later.

If you attempt to view your device while in motion, DNDWD will show only a blank dark screen. 

Apple's DNDWD does allow the user to create a whitelist of contacts who are able to reach you in an emergency situation. Those whitelisted contacts will be able to respond to the auto-reply with the message 'Urgent', which will then allow their text to sound the alert on our phone.

After you've used DNDWD once, it will automatically ask if you want the feature enabled every time it senses you may be driving. The DNDWD feature can be turned off on passenger phones (it senses they are in motion as well) but it takes a few clicks to complete the procedure. 

Apple has not yet published at what speed the phone begins to sense motion.

The primary intention of the DNDWD feature is to keep on-road drivers from texting and limit the intrusion of countless alerts while driving. Distracted driving is now considered to be more deadly than drunk driving. Recent data says drivers who are texting are six times more likely to get into an accident than drunk drivers.

However, this new safety feature has the potential to interfere with fleet operations. Fleets that use iPhones and iPads as a casual telematics system will need to reconfigure their usage policies and most likely talk with their telematics providers to ensure texts and alerts that are necessary to business operations will make it through Apple's safety feature. 

The statistics showing the danger of distracted driving and equipment operation are sobering and provide good reason to use the DNDWD feature. For example, fleet managers who count on GPS fence alerts  or auto-alerts from other telematic devices will want to determine if using DNDWD is worthwhile for their fleet drivers and operators.

The new iOS 11 will roll out in September and the DNDWD is included standard. Take some time to talk with your IoT people to find out which work-arounds are best for your needs.

iOS 11 will also have some nifty new features that will give your fleet more ways to communicate. Click here to see Apple's iOS 11 Preview.

We will keep you posted as more information becomes available.


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