As part of Toyota's efforts to eliminate accidents and fatalities, we built an Android app for teenage drivers in Europe. The app takes a lighthearted but effective approach to help young drivers continuously respect speed limits and the rules of the road - and not focus on their cellphones. And the app can be used by anyone, not just Toyota owners.
One of the ways that Safe and Sound combats speeding and distracted driving is through using music. Before parents turn over their car keys, parents and teens download and run the app to set it up. The app syncs with Spotify and uses the Google Maps Roads API to monitor a teen’s driving behaviour. If Safe and Sound registers that the teen is speeding, it’ll override the teen’s music with a Spotify playlist specifically chosen by the parent—and the teen can’t turn it off. As any parent knows, parents and kids don’t always agree on music.
The app also helps prevent distracted driving. When it detects the car is moving above 15 kilometres an hour, it switches on a “do not disturb” mode that blocks: social media notifications, incoming and outgoing texts, and phone calls. If the teen touches the phone, the app will detect that too, and play the parents' Spotify playlist until the teen removes his or her hand. At the end of the drive, Safe and Sound alerts the parents about how many times their teen exceeded the speed limit or touched the phone. Parents can also tap a link in the app that displays the route the teen drove in Google Maps.
Read the feature about Safe and Sound in The Google Cloud blog.