The iOS 11 update due out later this year, will provide all iPhones with the function, which is designed to address the dangers associated with smartphones and distraction.
The software will be able to sense when a person is driving, and when activated will block notifications from calls and texts as well as social media. The user won't even be able to access the phone’s homescreen to open apps.
The driver will be able to set a personalised automatic text response to notify anyone attempting to make contact that they’re currently behind the wheel.
The new feature will assume a person is driving if their phone is connected to the car via Bluetooth. Alternatively, it will use a phone's WiFi antenna to sense when it’s moving at car speeds.
Passengers will be able to override the feature by turning on the screen with the iPhone power button and then clicking on a button marked ‘I'm not driving’.
Once the update has taken place, Apple will prompt drivers to use the new feature on the first occasion that they drive with an iOS 11-powered iPhone.
The move has been welcomed by the RAC, who are encouraging motorists through their campaign #BePhoneSmart to make a personal pledge to not use their handheld phone while driving.
It has also been welcomed by Brake, who describes mobile phone use behind the wheel as a 'growing menace'.