New app: free coffee for drivers who ignore their mobiles

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A Japanese smartphone app designed specifically for drivers in Aichi prefecture rewards drivers with a free cup of coffee for every sixty miles driven without picking up their phone.

Aichi suffers from the worst road accident record in all of Japan, and road safety activists site the 50,000 arrests for using mobile devices while driving in 2015 as evidence that drivers are simply not concentrating on the road.

The app, known as Driving Barista, has been designed by a consortium led by Japanese car-making giant Toyota, who are also working with tech firm KDDI and coffee shop chain Komeda Co. Drivers are asked to place their phone face-down on another seat. Driving Barista monitors driver behaviour by accessing the inbuilt sensors in the phone. If the phone lays undisturbed for 100 kilometres, the driver is rewarded with a free cup of blended or iced coffee from their local Komeda Coffee shop.

Toyota are delighted to be spearheading the creative road safety campaign. Shuichi Murakami of Toyota said, “”In line with contributing to the ultimate goal of achieving zero traffic fatalities and zero traffic accidents,Toyota has implemented automobile safety measures as one of its top priority management concerns. By carrying out a new traffic safety education initiative together with Komeda and KDDI, we hope to further reduce traffic accidents.”

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