M2M Offers Safety behind the Wheel

Automobile safety has arguably been an issue since the creation of motor vehicles. We’re constantly trying to make the experience safer for both the driver and passenger. As M2M continues to rise in prominence, it has inevitably made its mark on automobile safety. As a result, many would say the industry has changed for the better.

In the modern era, one of the most prominent contributors to automobile accidents is distracted driving, i.e., motorists being preoccupied by a connected device while at the wheel. Sprint, www.sprint.com, and Modus, www.walshwireless.com, announced this week the development of their text disablement program.

Part of Sprint’s UBI (usage-based insurance) offering, the solution blocks a driver’s cellphone from sending or receiving text messages, as well as surfing the Web while their vehicle is in motion. Hardwired into the device in question, and plugged into the vehicle’s onboard diagnostic port, the system blocks connectivity almost instantaneously once the car begins to move, and does not effect passengers or nearby vehicles.

“Text disablement enables auto insurance carriers and self-insured organizations to improve driver risk assessment and encourage good driving behavior,” says Ben Vos, vice president of Sprint’s emerging solutions group.

The text disablement system also uses geo-fencing, which alerts parents when a teen driver has traveled too far. Additional text disablement features are reportedly planned for 2014.

But M2M’s contributions to auto safety extend beyond the prevention of distracted driving. Tag N Go, www.tagngo.com, recently launched its GPS Safety System, in which drivers plug a tracker into their vehicle, and receive instant driving behavior information to any smartphone, tablet, or PC.

Tag N Go calculates a “DriveScoreTM” for every trip. This offers data on how to improve driving safety, factoring in speed, acceleration, cornering, and breaking habits. The system incorporates realtime location tracking, performance analytics, and social media tools.

The developers of Tag N Go created the product with input from the DSAA (Drive School Assn. of the Americas). The organization intends to input Tag N Go into its standard curriculum, which reaches more than 1.1 million drivers annually.

Frikkie Koen, cofounder and CEO of Tag N Go, says the product was designed “from the ground up to ensure our first and foremost goal of driver safety. Tag N Go will help develop safe driving habits that will last a lifetime, and protect a family’s most important assets – their loved ones.”

Is it possible to be too careful when operating a motor vehicle? Perhaps, but many would argue it is indeed better to be safe than sorry. M2M and connected devices provide drivers with resources to stay safe, and perhaps keep from being very, very sorry.

Want to tweet about this article? Use the hashtags #M2M, #distracteddriving

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