We all have done it at one time or another – don't deny it – texting while we are driving, dialing a phone number, taking our eyes off the road as we control two tons of metal at 50 or more miles per hour…it is dangerous and really quite stupid when you think about it. The chances of an accident increase by 2.8 times while dialing a phone number and 23-percent while texting.
In Singapore, a Samsung commissioned survey found that 83-percent of the Singapore drivers admitted to using their smartphone, without a hands-free kit, while driving in the past 12 months. They were found to most likely be using their GPS or map applications, checking their screens and alerts, or texting, in spite of the fact that 95-percent of the participants were aware that it is illegal to do so. With a summons increase of 46-percent from January – June 2012 over the same period in 2013, Samsung decided to jump-in to help, with the support of the Traffic Police and Singapore Road Safety Council, and launch "The Road Comes First" campaign.
Irene Ng, Vice President, Marketing, Samsung Asia Pte Ltd said:
"Smartphones are increasingly ubiquitous in Singapore, with users depending on their devices for everything from making phone calls, map navigation to social networking. As a mobile industry leader, Samsung is taking the responsibility to encourage drivers to put aside their phones while driving, and focus on the roads."
Samsung's "Eyes on the Road" mobile app is easy to use – the driver simply opens the app when they get into their vehicle. Once activated, the app silences calls, text messages, and other social media notifications. Using sensor fusion technology, the app detects motion above 20km/hour and this causes the program to activate. The driver can deactivate the app anytime, but hopefully not until they reach their destination – it will also deactivate after 10 minutes of idleness. To reward drivers for their safe driving, the app will keep track of safe driving distances and based on certain criteria, the driver can receive insurance vouchers or Shell fuel vouchers.
This is a great video describing how the program works and how it rewards the driver – less than two minutes:
Please let us know on our Google+ Page if you think this is a good or bad idea and if you would like to see it come to the U.S. and other countries as well. For our Singapore readers, you can pick it up here at the Google Play Store.