We all know we shouldn’t use our phones while driving, but that doesn’t stop most people. We live in a connected world, one that compels us to check our phone regularly for updates, text messages, and other distractions. The fight to end distracted driving has been futile, but Mazda thinks it may have a way to keep people safe.

Mazda MX-5 Miata on an engaging road

Recently, the company filed a patent that proposed the idea of the car keeping the driver’s attention through a number of technology including monitors that measure steering, throttle input, braking, driver attention and more. The idea is that if the driver is more focused on having a fun drive, he or she will be less likely to be distracted by their phone. It’s a novel idea and one that might just be crazy enough to work.

view behind the wheel of a Mazda3 sedan

While most companies are working to take the driver out of the transportation altogether, Mazda seems intent on making driving more fun and therefore more worthy of attention, which should reduce distracted driving accidents. This system would not only monitor driver’s actions and reactions, but it could even offer ways to improve their skills.

This means your car would tell you how to properly corner and how to accelerate or brake smoother. The car would track how engaged you are on certain roads and direct you towards more interesting roads to keep you engaged. Also, the system would reward an engaged driver by increasing throttle response and making the car more fun to drive overall. All of this appeals to us, but in the age of burgeoning automotive autonomy, it will be interesting to see how well-received it is by non-driving enthusiasts.

Mazda6 sedan side view

Mazda’s approach may seem contrary to the route that automotive technology is moving down, but we see this complimenting the autonomous driving future instead of butting up against it. There will always be people who want to drive themselves as opposed to letting a machine do it for them. This is a great way to help those people become the best driver’s they can possibly be. The majority of the future’s vehicles may drive themselves, but it seems if Mazda has its way, there will still be a few cars out there with an attentive driver behind the wheel.