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Phone App Used to Encourage Safe Driving


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Most, if not all people know not to use their phone when driving, because the distraction can lead to accidents. That view may be changing slightly, thanks to researchers at MIT and the spinoff Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT).

Using MIT research, CMT developed the DriveWell app which monitors and scores your driving from 1 to 100. This score is based on data collected on road types, driving smoothness, speeding, phone distraction, and more, and all of the data is collected in the background. Some insurance companies offer devices that similarly track driver safety, but DriveWell takes it a bit further with its feedback and scoring. Instead of just offering insurance discounts, the scores can be collected into leaderboards, creating social games with badges and other prizes.

In South Africa, which has one of the highest traffic accident fatality rates (31.9 per 100,000 inhabitants), a competition was run with some 65,000 participants. While the competition ran for four months, after just two weeks the riskiest participants improved significantly with 40-50% less speeding, less hard braking, corning, and less phone usage, and in some cases the improvements were noticeable after just two days. The next step for CMT is, naturally, to bring DriveWell and its other apps and products to as many drivers as possible.

Source: MIT

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