Do not use your phone while driving… we are all flashed with this warning practically everywhere. By fiddling with your smartphone when you are behind the wheels, you are not just putting yourself in mortal danger but also your passengers and others on the road.
As per recent studies one-in-four i.e. 26 per cent of all car accidents were caused by a driver using a cell phone. Well the tragedy is that this number is alarmingly increasing.
To solve this very problem there is soon going to be a kickass mobile app called Drivemode in town. With this app, you can now take back your driving freedom as it finally lets you use your cellphone while driving without jeopardizing your safety.
Meet The Great Minds Behind It All!
Drivemode was conceptualized and co-founded by Yo Koga, Jeff Standard, HK Ueda and Hiro Nakagawa. The app was founded in January 2014 in San Jose, CA with four co-founders from Zipcar, Tesla, and other successful start-ups. Their mission was to reinvent an in-car experience using smart devices.
The team along with 6 other employees has the right skills and talent to make Drivemode the next most talked about app in town.
Know The App Better!
Drivemode has developed a radically simple, automotive grade interface for your Android device to keep you connected with the functions you need while driving. It is designed to be used without looking. Drivemode gives you a huge menu with voice guidance so that you can keep your eyes on the road.
On The Problem The App is Solving!
Currently, there is no simple and safe way to use your phone while driving. This action had become synonym to a really profane cuss word to talk about because of the accidents caused by people typing text messages or stressing over which tiny button to quickly press because the light just turned green.
The solution offered by Drivemode is beautiful as it allows users to use their phone without actually looking at it or thinking too much.
The patent-pending “No-Look” technology turns your entire phone into one giant button. Using a mix of voice guidance, bold color changes, and gestures, you no longer need to look directly at your phone to perform actions.
In addition, Drivemode learns your habits to recommend relevant content and actions so that drivers don’t have to think. For example, if you normally call a loved one on your way home from work then everyday their contact will be at the top of the list. It’s like having a concierge as a passenger that knows and prepares what you need, before you need it.
The Inspiration Behind It All!
The idea originally came about when one of the founders, Yo Koga, moved from Boston to California where he needed to drive on a daily basis. Like so many other drivers, he soon found himself stuck in traffic, frustrated, and bored. He began trying to use his cellphone in the car for navigation, music, and communication, but found the interface too complex to be usable while driving. It was from this spark that Koga assembled the initial team sharing similar frustrations to radically simplify the interface and tasks on the phone for in-car use.
In terms of competition, all existing smartphone driving apps do pose as direct competitors. These are ‘launcher’ type apps that try to give easier access to other smartphone apps. While useful, they still launch the same, unsafe messaging or music apps that have small buttons and unsuitable interfaces.
“It’s commonly thought that in-car systems such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are competitors, but they are addressing a very different in-car infotainment market. Android Auto and CarPlay supported cars are rolling out onto a handful of high end cars sometime in 2015. Given the average age of a car is 11 years, it will be many years until they will start to have an impact. They also have the potential to aid us in bringing Drivemode into the car’s infotainment system itself”, adds the team.
On Challenges Faced
Finding the right interface and user experience was the biggest hurdle faced by the team. The infotainment systems currently in cars are at a minimum 3-5 years old with confusing and complex interfaces which they simply couldn’t even use as a starting point. They knew that they had to bring something new to the in-car space to make any real breakthrough.
Thus the team spent month after month of research by driving around with users, holding countless interviews, and quickly iterating through dozens of design concepts until arriving at their current, patent-pending interface and feedback model. On top of all that, they have also made sure to uphold the same design guidelines by NHTSA that automakers use to build the first, true automotive grade interface for your phone.
Well it is safe to say that their hard work has paid off. In spite of being a young start-up they already seem to be getting some overwhelmingly positive feedback from their users so far.
On Expansion Plans & Target Audience
“We’re currently in private beta while we ready Drivemode for our official launch in the first half of 2015. We’ll initially launch in the US and have plans to bring driving freedom to international drivers soon after”, says the team.
At the moment, Drivemode is targeted at anyone and everyone that drives. As mentioned earlier, this app is here to provide drivers a safe way of using their phones while on the wheels.
Psst…. Special Offer for Our Readers!
The team of Drivemode was kind enough to endow our first 1000 readers with free access to join their private beta. In order to do so, all you have to do is download the Android version and use the code “SDFANS” for instant access.
To download the app and to know more about it, so visit: drivemode.com