On Wednesday, Cuomo signed off on Esurance's plan to offer a device called DriveSafe free to all Esurance customers. While there's no shortage of apps that can disable a driver's smart phone (the military and even churches have been jamming cell phone signals for a while now), DriveSafe is a next-level cell phone blocking device, and then some.
The DriveSafe device can be inserted into the onboard diagnostics port of any non-hybrid/electric car made after 1996. The device communicates via Bluetooth with the Esurance smart phone app. Parents can then fine-tune what their kids' phones can do. "Customize block lists so they can't tweet but can still access navigation apps and receive calls from you," Esurance suggests. Or simply disable texting. Parents can literally do anything they want. Regardless of what parents do, the phones will still be able to call 911.
The device not only limits cell phone use, it also tracks every aspect of a teen's drive: how fast they went, how quickly they accelerated, how hard they braked, and where they went. It's basically the one telematics device to rule them all.
After a teen has gone for a drive, parents receive a message like this one: