Sunday, December 06, 2009


The Road to Cell

I wrote a New Scientist piece earlier this year on the nearly criminal foot-dragging by Detroit over safety advances made by pioneering engineers in the 1950s and 60s, and that sad pattern seems to have been repeated... with cell phone companies.

An excellent piece of historical digging by Matt Richtel in today's Times:

Martin Cooper, who developed the first portable cellphone, recalled testifying before a Michigan state commission about the risks of talking on a phone while driving. Common sense, said Mr. Cooper, a Motorola engineer, dictated that drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

Commission members asked Mr. Cooper what could be done about risks posed by these early mobile phones. “There should be a lock on the dial,” he said he had testified, “so that you couldn’t dial while driving.”

It was the early 1960s.

(On a rather happier automotive note, the Times also has a fascinating article on Invacars -- the cleverly designed pale blue cars distributed in postwar Britain to the disabled...)

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?