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New app developed to encourage drivers out of their cars

Mon 01 April 2019 | Back to news list

App developers plan to bring technology to market that aims to encourage drivers not to make unneccessary car journeys. The app, which will be activated once the vehicle detects that a person is in the driver's seat and before the engine is turned on will use the latest 'smart' technology to provide the driver with information about alternative ways of making the journey and, perhaps, the benefits of not making the journey at all. 

App developers thrivenotdrive.com say that the product brings together the latest in automated and connected 'smart' technology, using 'nudge' theory to promote more positive environmental choices.

The app is enabled to link with consumer virtual assistants, including Amazon's Alexa, to provide data on customer preferences in order to define the sort of messages that are likely to most effectively influence individual behaviour. For example, those whose search preferences indicate an interest in weight loss or fitness will be delivered in-car messages defining the amount of calories that would be expended by cycling or walking in preference to driving the car.

Thrivenotdrive.com has plans to integrate the app with in-house virtual assistants so that drivers may hear messages discouraging them from driving even before they leave their house.

Thrivenotdfive's managing director Sophie Dweller said: "This is not about lecturing, or telling people it's bad to drive their cars, but about indicating the range of travel alternatives that are available - or even the potential benefits of not making the journey at all and staying at home.

"On several occasions the app has talked me out of making a journey and I know from experience that I had a much better time at home."

The app is currently in beta testing. The company says that it is experimenting with different voices for the app as some have been found to carry more authority than others. 

Sophie Dweller said: "We've found, for example, that for a certain type of male driver a female voice on the app has been much more effective in inspiring positive action than a male voice delivering a similar message."

The company is currently looking for volunteers to test development versions of the app. Anyone interested in taking part should follow the associated link.   

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