Turning the smartphone from a distraction into a safe-driving tool

Road traffic incidents are the number one cause of accidental injury and fatality in the world. And while our smartphones connect us to a world of possibilities, the addictive nature of our mobile lives can regularly distract us from the world around us, which can be especially dangerous when driving. That’s why it’s great to see examples such as this safe driving app and car kit from Samsung which aims to use our reliance on smartphones in a positive way to nudge us into a more beneficial behavioural routine.

Developed by Leo Burnett Sydney, the Samsung “S-Drive” safe-driving kit aims to transform the smartphone from one of the biggest distractions on the road into a life-saving tool. Although the kit was launched back in 2014, I only stumbled across it this week. With the spate of campaign case study videos that we’ve seen coming from Cannes over the last couple of weeks, S-Drive is striking in its utility and the fact that it poses a solution to a real societal problem.

The pack includes an NFC-enabled windscreen smartphone holder that automatically launches the app and puts the device into safe-driving mode so that only voice activated calls and texts can be accessed when the car is moving. Drivers are also alerted when they exceed the speed limit, as well as given voice information on traffic updates, weather conditions, and accident blind spots. Think of it as a Sat Nav that looks out for the safety of its driver.

Drivers can also earn points for every safe kilometer travelled that can be redeemed against some pretty cool rewards, some of which are based around team goals with the aim of turning peer pressure, so often the cause of bad driving, into a positive influence.