Detecting Driver Phone Use Leveraging Car Speakers

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Executive Summary

This paper addresses the fundamental problem of distinguishing between a driver and passenger using a mobile phone, which is the critical input to enable numerous safety and interface enhancements. The authors' detection system leverages the existing car stereo infrastructure, in particular, the speakers and Bluetooth network. Their acoustic approach has the phone send a series of customized high frequency beeps via the car stereo. The beeps are spaced in time across the left, right, and if available, front and rear speakers. After sampling the beeps, they use a sequential change-point detection scheme to time their arrival, and then use a differential approach to estimate the phone's distance from the car's center.

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