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Chevrolet Launches New App Telling Drivers to Put Down Their Phones

Big Brother is watching and he wants you to put down your phone! Not exactly, but Chevrolet is launching a new app that can detect when you pick up your phone and it will tell drivers to put down their smartphones while driving.

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Chevrolet is launching a new smartphone app to remind drivers to put down their phones while driving. The app can actually detect when you pick up your phone and if you do, it will play prerecorded messages telling you to put your phone down.

The app is called ‘Call Me Out’ and drivers are encouraged to have their friends and loved ones record some of the messages to help drivers stay focused on the road.

App Designed by Younger Drivers

The app comes out of a hackathon that Chevrolet hosted encouraging young people to come up with new ways to reduce distracted driving. Call Me Out combines technology and people we love to convince us to change our behavior.

Everyone knows that distracted driving is dangerous, yet a recent study finds that 90 percent of people admit to being distracted while using their phone in the car. The smartphone app is designed to catch that behavior and help you correct it using positive peer pressure.

Users are encouraged to invite friends and family to “call me out” and record a positive message to remind one another to keep their hands off their phones and on the wheel.

“As the father of two daughters, I am keenly aware of all the perils that my children face out in the world on a daily basis, and that is why it is so important for GM and Chevrolet to offer technologies that help all of us become safer drivers,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America and head of Global Chevrolet.

Batey stresses that GM is so committed to encouraging safer, less distracted driving that they are making this app available to everyone, regardless of what make or model they drive.

“With Call Me Out we are extending our commitment beyond the technologies integrated into GM and Chevy vehicles and are making the app available for Android phone users who drive other vehicle makes and models in an effort to help people change their driving behavior and make our roads safer.”

How the New App Works

Call Me Out is an audible alert system that uses the voices of loved ones to remind drivers to avoid risky distracted driving behavior.

The app uses the phone's accelerometer and GPS to detect when the phone is physically picked up while traveling at speeds above 5 mph and plays recorded, personalized messages from friends or family reminding drivers to keep their eyes on the road and put their phones down.

Android phone users can download the free app from the Google Play Store (data plan required).

According to Chevrolet, the app also turns driving into a game of sorts, featuring a scoreboard and rankings. The less a phone is handled while driving, the higher the score on the leaderboard.

“Today’s vehicles offer a range of active safety features like Lane Keep Assist and Forward Automatic Braking that help drivers stay more aware of their surroundings,” said Tricia Morrow, Chevy safety engineer. “But we also know the vehicle is only one element.

“Chevy’s Call Me Out app gives drivers another great tool to reinforce good driving behaviors — and as a mom of a teenage daughter, I personally know how important it is to model good driving behaviors and encourage others to do the same.”

Like anything, the app will only work if people use it. Perhaps the fact that it was suggested by young people will make it more likely that they will use it. Distracted driving can be just as dangerous as driving tired and in some cases, just as dangerous as driving while impaired. Driving and texting has caused fatal accidents all over the country. All you have to do is look around you while driving and you will see people weaving because they are looking at their phones. The new app doesn’t disable the phone just reminds you that people who love you want you to be safer!

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Steve (not verified)    September 11, 2018 - 6:48AM

I'm surprised Chevrolet can use the accelerometer to pin down the difference between being handheld and just inside a moving car.

Hugh (not verified)    September 11, 2018 - 8:02AM

I think it's silly, but to each their own. I don't use Android auto for the same reason, it's too limiting. Nope, I would rather be in control.

Joe (not verified)    September 11, 2018 - 12:42PM

Half the time I'm a passenger. How does this app know that I am a passenger in my own car and my wife is driving it?

Paul (not verified)    September 11, 2018 - 12:43PM

Maybe Chevrolet / GM should care enough to issue firmware updates a la Tesla for its antiquated G1 Volt infotainment systems so drivers don't need to pick up their phones to do things while driving that their newer head units allow (texts et al).