One of the new highlight features in iOS 11 is the iPhone's ability to detect when you're in a car, and then automatically switching Do Not Disturb on. This means your notifications will no longer distract you while you're driving (a very good thing), but it can be frustrating if you're the passenger and aren't driving. 

For the driver, the automatic mode might not be the perfect solution, and neither is the fact that your closest friends, relatives and acquaintances think you're ignoring them.

Thankfully, you can change the activation method and have an automatic reply set to go off whenever Do Not Disturb is switched on while driving, solving both of those issues. 


How to disable automatic Do Not Disturb While Driving

By default in iOS 11, the feature is set to switch on automatically in the background. If you're almost always the driver, and rarely a passenger, you can leave it like this.

When it activates you get a permanent notification show up on your lock screen indicating that it is doing its thing. If you're driving, leave it alone. If you're a passenger, you can long-press on the lock screen notification and choose to deactivate it. 

If you're almost always the passenger and rarely the driver, you can stop it coming on automatically by heading to Settings > Do Not Disturb then scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap on the "Activate" option. Here you can choose the "Manually" option so that it never comes on by itself. 

Once you have chosen the manual activation, you can add a control to Control Centre by going to Settings > Control Centre > Customise Control Centre and adding the Do Not Disturb While Driving control. Now you just need to swipe up to reveal Control Centre and tap the little car icon to activate it. 

Another option you have is to only have it activate when it connects to your car's Bluetooth system. 


Switch on and customise auto-reply

As mentioned you can choose to let your most important contacts know when you're driving when they try to contact you. 

Back in the main Do Not Disturb menu, scroll all the way down to the very bottom of the screen and you'll see the auto reply options. There are two options here: one for filtering who you want to send the auto-reply to and the other for choosing what it says. 

In the "Auto-Reply to" options you'll find four different filters: No One, Recents, Favourites and All Contacts. Each is pretty self explanatory. Recents applies to those who have you have been in touch with recently and appear in your "Recents" call list. Favourites is reserved for those who are listed in your phone Favourites list. 

By default, the auto-reply is set to "I'm driving with Do Not Disturb While Driving turned on. I'll see your message when I arrive at my destination". If you're happy with it, leave it as it is. 

If you'd like to customise it, just tap on the auto-reply field in the Do Not Disturb menu and then just type away.