Let’s admit it! Our smartphone addiction is so strong that it is nearly impossible for us to tear our eyes away from our phone screens and concentrate on the task at hand, even when we are behind the wheel!
Aichi Prefecture in Japan suffers from this problem severely and has witnessed the highest number of fatal traffic accidents during the past thirteen years. Only last year, more than 443,000 fatal accidents were recorded in Aichi Prefecture while more than 50,000 people were arrested for using smartphones while driving.
In an attempt to encourage the drivers to keep their eyes on the roads while they drive, a new Japanese smartphone app will give away coffee coupons to the users who don’t check their smartphone for at least 100 kilometres.
Driving Barista is a collaborative project of Toyota Motor Corporation, Komeda Co Ltd, and KDDI Corporation. The idea is to provide an incentive to the driver for not checking his/her phone. The Managing Officer at Toyota, Shuichi Murakami reckons it is the first that deals with the problem of traffic safety:
“In line with contributing to the ultimate goal of achieving zero traffic fatalities and zero traffic accidents, Toyota has implemented automobile safety measures as one of its top priority management concerns. By carrying out a new traffic safety education initiative together with Komeda and KDDI, we hope to further reduce traffic accidents.”
The app uses the gyro sensor embedded in the smartphones to measure the device tilt while the distance driven is calculated using the GPS. Thus, Driving Barista estimates the amount of time that the driver did not check the smartphone, while at the wheel.
For every 100 kilometres driven without checking the smartphone, the driver is rewarded with a free coupon redeemable at Komeda Coffee Shop for an iced or blended brew.
Pretty cool idea, isn’t it?