A Silicon Valley company called Life Apps LLC is exhibiting its LifeSaver safe driving app at the 2013 Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) conference in San Diego this week. The conference focuses on the ways in which technology presents both opportunities and challenges for highway safety.
LifeSaver is designed to prevent teens from driving while distracted. The app, which runs in the background after installation, triggers when the car is moving, locking the phone in less than five seconds and preventing it from being used for calls, texting, email, and other applications, according to a company press release.
When the phone is in locked mode, LifeSaver will allow inbound calls and GPS navigation if a parents permits them by configuring the app. Once the car comes to a stop, LifeSaver automatically unlocks the phone in five-to-60 seconds, with the length of time dependent on configuration of the app by the teen’s parent.
The app can notify a parent if a teen uses the GPS or inbound call features while driving. According to Lifesaver-app.com, the app requires GPS to work properly, and in most cases, the driver will need to have a data plan before using it.
LifeSaver, which is recommended by TRTS (Teen Road to Safety), uses such technologies as GPS and Accelerometer, and soon will also use OBD2. Its patent-pending technology reduces battery consumption even as the phone is running in the background during normal driving hours. It will be available to all Android users this fall, and an iPhone version will be out later this year. There is currently a beta version on Google Play that is available for a free 30-day trial, after which there is an optional one-time renewal fee of $4.99.
Life Apps’s founders, Ted Chen and Mike Demele, are developing partner relationships for the app, with customized versions for any particular group of drivers. Those partner relationships provide options to reward app users for good driving, with special offers from car insurance companies, gas stations, and online retailers.
[…] [W]e note that educational outreach programs have helped to inform teen drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. A national Ad Council survey conducted in June 2012 found that 51% of young adult drivers polled said they are ‘extremely concerned’ about their peers texting while driving (a 7% increase over the previous year), and 34% of those polled said they never text while driving (up from 28% in 2011).
GHSA is a nonprofit organization representing state and territorial highway safety offices that implement programs to improve highway safety and to promote road safety as a national priority. It grew out of a 1967 group called the national Association of Governors’ Highway Safety Representatives, which was incorporated in 1974 and received nonprofit status in 1976.