Gamification: Samsung App Rewards Drivers for Not Texting

A new app from Samsung was developed with the intention of keeping drivers off their phones while behind the wheel. Startling statistics indicate that text messaging while driving makes you 23 times more likely to get in an accident. More startling yet is that more than 77 percent of young American adults believe they’re able to text while safely driving. To combat that, Samsung’s new Android app, “Eyes on the Road,” turns not texting into a game with tangible rewards for safe driving.

What could inspire all-too-easily tempted drivers from picking up their phones to send a quick text? Competition and reward, according to Quartz. The more miles driven while the app is activated, the more points a user earns. And the points aren’t meaningless — they can actually be used toward insurance premium vouchers and discounts on gas.

“When active, the app determines the speed at which a user is traveling in order to gauge whether that user is in a moving vehicle or not,” Quartz says. “At and above roughly 20 km per hour or 12 miles per hour, all phone call, text, social media and other notifications are hidden.”

Call and text notifications are only revealed when the driver has safely reached his/her destination. An Eyes on the Road promotional video shows that the app will even send auto replies to anyone who texts a driver while the app is active. There’s also the option to share rewards with friends and deactivate the app manually.

“The company is test-launching the app in Singapore, presumably because of its surging problem with driver cell phone use, before introducing it elsewhere,” says the article.