We’ve all seen our fair share of “don’t text and drive” campaigns from carmakers, and they range from the simple to the downright terrifying. But now, rather than releasing more billboards or commercials, one auto manufacturer is putting its money where your mouth is (and by money we mean free coffee).
Toyota has partnered with Japanese telecom giant au to create the first app that rewards you for not touching your phone while you drive. The app, “Driving Barista,” taps into your phone’s GPS and gyroscope to make sure you leave it face down in your car for the duration of your drive. All you have to do is open the app, click go, set down the phone, and start driving.
Make it 100 kilometers (that’s about 62 miles, btw) without touching the phone and you’ll be rewarded with a voucher for a free cup of coffee, courtesy of Komeda Coffee (that’s a Japanese coffee chain, btw).
Fail to resist the siren call of a push notification however, and you’ll be met with a large “FAILURE” icon that will do nothing for your self-esteem or caffeine levels.
If you make it another 200 kilometers (around 124 miles) after your first successful drive, you’ll receive a second voucher for a free brew.
RocketNews24 reports that the app is only available for use in the Aichi Prefecture, which currently holds two notable driving superlatives that may explain why:
1) It’s the home of Toyota’s global headquarters.
2) It has had more annual traffic fatalities than any other prefecture in Japan for 13 years straight.
The release of the app comes in tandem with Japan’s Autumn Traffic Safety Campaign aiming to reduce the number of automobile, bicycle or pedestrian accidents that occur thanks to rampant cell phone use. Driving Barista can be downloaded until October 6th, and vouchers may be redeemed until October 30th.
So is a free cup of coffee enough to make a dent in driving accidents, and will the app soon be available in the U.S.? Only time will tell.
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