Besides drinking and driving, sleeping and driving is the next pair of things people should never do. As it may happen to even the best of us to fall asleep behind the wheel, several corporations put up various system meant to keep us alert when driving.
BBDO Proximity Thailand is the agency that came up with the idea of making a smartphone app with the purpose of preventing drowsiness in drivers. The Drive Awake iOS app was born this way, around the Thai rest stop coffee shop chain Cafe Amazon. The developers claim that this is the first of its kind, and that is entirely true, as the other corporations concerned about drowsy drivers have different approaches.
Drive Awake employs advanced eye and face tracking technology in order to monitor drivers efficiently. More precisely, all that drivers have to do is place their iPhone so that the front camera of the smartphone can detect their face and eyes. Should the app lose track of the driver’s eyes, the drowsy driver is alerted via an audio cue. Make no mistake, this app was built for advertising purposes, so the fact that the app sends the driver to the closest Cafe Amazon outlet should not surprise anyone.
As mentioned before, other companies approached the problem in different ways. For example, Mercedes-Benz has had its own alerting system for quite a few years now. Ford’s Lane Keeping System has exactly the same purpose. An Eyetracker system has also been developed, all the while Denso is working on a few solutions, too. Cafe Amazon’s Drive Awake app is yet another way of solving the same issue.
In the end, I don’t mind if any of the proposed solutions was built for marketing purposes or not. What is really important here is to keep the drivers alert. That will keep the number of accidents down, and considering that many of these end in deaths of innocents, I’m sure that quite a few lives could be saved. It would also be great if apps indicated the address of the nearest place where the drivers could take a nap, if they’re driving a long way.
The Cafe Amazon Drive Awake app is currently available for free on the iTunes Store. Mind you, it only has a rating of 2 out of 5 stars calculated after 12 votes, so its efficiency might not be the best in the world.
If you liked this post, please check the anti-sleep driving alarm and Ford’s suite of apps that monitor health while driving.