Chevrolet has launched a new smartphone app called Call Me Out to help remind new and experienced drivers alike to keep their eyes on the road and put their phones down while they are driving. The Android app is for users 18 years or older, and requires a compatible device plus a data plan.
According to a recent Research Now survey, 84 percent of people admit that distracted driving while handling a phone is dangerous, yet 90 percent of drivers have done it.
Driven to change the behaviour and the conversation, Chevrolet hosted a hackathon where teams of young people were challenged to propose solutions to reduce distracted driving. The Call Me Out app, an audible alert system that uses personalised voice messages from loved ones to warn drivers of the risks they are taking when they’re handling their phone, was the winning idea. The framework for the Call Me Out app was born from the effort.
Call Me Out combines two extremely influential forces — technology and the people we love — to change distracted driving behaviour. The smartphone app is designed to leverage the positive influence of peer pressure on behaviour. Chevrolet partnered with students at Wayne State University in Detroit to test the app’s effectiveness.
Users are encouraged to invite friends and family to “call me out” and record a positive message to remind one another to keep their hands off their phones and on the wheel.
The Call Me Out app uses the phone’s accelerometer and GPS to detect when the phone is physically picked up while traveling at speeds above 5mph (8km/h) and plays recorded, personalised messages from friends or family reminding drivers to keep their eyes on the road and their phones down. The app also includes gamification, featuring a scoreboard and rankings – the less a phone is handled while driving, the higher the score on the leaderboard.