As part of a new traffic safety initiative, a car manufacturer, a telecommunications operator and a coffee chain have joined forces to develop Driving Barista, a new app designed to promote safer driving. For every 100 kilometers you drive without picking up your phone, you are rewarded with a coupon for a free cup of blended or iced coffee. But if you drive 99 kilometers and decide to pick up the phone, it resets back to zero.
The application is aimed at reducing the number of traffic accidents in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, which are caused by drivers using their smartphones while driving. The region has had the highest rate of traffic fatalities in Japan for 13 consecutive years. In 2015 alone, there were 44.3691 traffic accidents that resulted in injuries or deaths, and 50.101 arrests involving the use of smartphones while driving. Japanese legislation around the issue came into effect on November 1, 1999.
This is the first time a smartphone application for traffic safety launched in Japan, and it probably will not be the last. Needless to say the idea is hardly new, the application uses the gyro sensor to determine the tilt of the smartphone body, and GPS to measure the completed distance driven. Even though the system is only a small incentive, it can already be considered a big step towards the realization of a safe and secure society.