- By Jana Rhodes
- Posted September 16, 2016
The Newegg Blog: MOTOsafety, the smart sensor that improves driving
(Excerpted from The Newegg Blog. Original post published Sept. 14, 2016.)
by Gregory Rice
With electronic monitoring technology becoming a staple in auto production today, it’s hard to find a car without some sort of safety sensor advertised: blind spot detection, close proximity awareness, lane departure, even eye movement tracking.
In fact, vehicles produced today have between 60-100 sensors on board. Granted more than a few of these are for regular systems monitoring, but that number is expected to double as cars get “smarter.” All these sensors are designed to make drivers more aware of their surroundings, but my issue with all this is that none of these sensors actually help anyone to be a better driver and pay more attention to what we are doing behind the wheel.
MOTOsafety looks to change that with their plug-in and wired GPS tracking safety sensors, which are designed to monitor driver performance and give actionable statistics for improving behavior and creating safe driving habits.
MOTOsafety’s whole mission revolves around educating drivers, so it makes sense that they would start with the least experienced drivers on the road: teens. Per mile driven, teen drivers 16-19 years old are almost three times more likely than drivers 20 and older to be involved in a fatal crash. The solution: arming parents and teens with detailed information about their driving habits to spot problems, and address them before they lead to habitual behavior, with the help of MOTOsafety driving coach. The hardware is pretty straightforward: a simple OBDII sensor that plugs into the port of any vehicle newer than 1996 (they also have a hard-wired version). The real benefit comes from the data this device can gather, and what you can do with that data to coach your teen on ways to improve their driving.
What does an OBD sensor monitor?
The data MOTOsafety gathers is everything that the vehicle’s OBD sensor measures: driving speed, braking/acceleration, and idle time, combined with a real-time GPS to monitor location and driving routes. The goal behind this program isn’t to just keep an eye on what teen drivers are doing, but to give advice on how to improve behavior.
One of the key parts of the software is a report card which grades the driving skill based on these data points (in addition to after-curfew use), all of which can have alerts sent to parents’ phones when triggered. All the information gathered is very useful for parents who are trying to help teach their new drivers safe practices, and aids in the conversation around this.
One of the features that is particularly useful is the geofencing setting, where parents can set up areas that automatically trigger an alert, such as school, home, work or the library for example. For parents who are worried about the safety of their teen, this is a way to ensure they are safe, and eliminates the need for pesky “Where are you?” text messages. Multiple geofences can be set up so parents can get updates without needing to check the real-time map constantly.
Teens drive safer, parents rest easier
It’s proven that teens practice safer driving behavior when they know they are being monitored, and MOTOsafety notes that this is a key period when good habits are formed. The reporting aspect of the program compiles data within the interface and breaks down the grade given on a daily basis, to analyze on a granular level. Parents can then see teen driving habits on a daily or monthly trend, and help advise when better choices can be made.
One of the additional features is the ability to set up vehicle maintenance alerts, so new drivers can get in the practice of regularly checking the oil, brakes, rotating tires, and basically all the things that responsible drivers do to ensure their car is a reliable source of transportation.
The service that MOTOsafety provides is based on a $19.50/month subscription, which also includes access to a Graduated License Program resource hub that contains information about teaching teens better driving tactics, including reference material on rules and legislation. MOTOsafety notes that customers see the best results when the parents are transparent with student drivers on the use and purpose of the unit.
About Gregory Rice
Greg is a marketing manager for Newegg Marketplace and contributor to the Unscrambled blog. When he’s not creating content for the team or in a LOTR marathon he is brewing beer, hiking, and snapping photos.