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Despite the growing awareness, media coverage, accidents and fatalities from distracted driving, we have seen a steady trend in responses to our annual survey. Company attitudes and their approach to managing distracted driving have changed little over the past few years. What has changed is a drop in the level of confidence respondents have in the enforcement methods being used. On the one hand we have growing awareness of the distracted driving problem, while on the other we have decreasing confidence in policy enforcement. And the response seems to be to stick with the same monitoring and enforcement methods. Is it time for a new approach?

The NHTSA just released a new study that shows Distracted Driving accounts for 15% of economic impact motor crashes cause, which tallies up to $129 billion when looking at the overall societal harm caused by these crashes.  Surely it is time to take a more proactive approach and look at technology solutions to help curb these distractions and further promote safe driving behaviors.

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Aegis Mobility's COO Brian Simmers recently had the pleasure of being a guest on the Peggy Smedley Show (www.peggysmedleyshow.com), the voice of M2M & Connected Devices, to discuss the use of technology to prevent distracted driving within the ecosystem of the Connected Car. The audio interview can be found here.

While car manufacturers have made great strides in making driver interaction with mobile capabilities safer and less distracting, the presence of the mobile device itself in the vehicle continues to be a major problem. The problem at a high level is three-fold: 1) not all cars on the road today, or in the near future, are "connected" with the high-tech features necessary to limit driver distraction 2) use of the vehicle controls is optional and 3) drivers are addicted to their mobile devices and the way they ring, ding, feel and look.

To truly eliminate the problem today, additional technology solutions are needed. This technology must automatically activate using flexible trigger methods and allow people to access the features that they want, but in a safe manner and in a way that they can't override.  In the future, the car itself can be part of the solution and we envision a world where the car can tell the network what devices are in it and whether it is driving or not, and the network can mediate the calls, text and data traffic based on this contextual information.

During the interview, Brian Simmers discussed a number of topics including the success of the Aegis Mobility FleetSafer solution for distracted driving due to mobile use in enterprises and our pioneering partnership with the State of Iowa and their TEXTL8R distracted driving software aimed at teen drivers in their state.

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Aegis Mobility's partner in Australia - Go Technologies - is providing product demonstrations of the FleetSafer solution at the International Truck, Trailer & Equipment Show in Melbourne. For those of you interested in finding a safe driving technology solution to prevent distracted driving, be sure to stop by the Go Tech booth @ GP51 April 5th & 6th, 2014.

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Aegis Mobility is conducting our 4th Annual Distracted Driving Survey this April for Distracted Driving Awareness month. To participate for a chance to win an iPad Mini visit the below link:

Take Survey Now!

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This month, we joined Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation) in Washington for a day of meetings focused on the distracted driving problem and technology solutions.

In addition to Aegis, panel attendees included Apple, Google, Samsung, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Toyota and GM. The videos of the three sessions can be found here -

  1. The State of Distracted Drivingb2ap3_thumbnail_senate-seal.png
  2. The State of Technology
  3. Where Do We Go From Here?

Highlights of the day included:

  • Universal agreement on the severity of the problem
  • Clear opinion from Senator Rockefeller that industry, in pursuit of technology promotion and profits, may have placed responsibilities to society and safety as secondary
  • This led to good debate regarding the benefits of technology in saving lives (ex. OnStar) and the challenges of restricting consumers' choice
  • Senator Rockefeller gave compelling arguments that it is our collective responsibility to offer not just "what consumers want" but products that are designed for safe and responsible use
  • While there are many stakeholders with varying interests, it was clear that there is substantial collaboration within the industry to continually improve solutions and accelerate market adoption

The event was very useful to advance the dialogue amongst the key constituents responsible for providing technology solutions and Aegis applauds the Senator's leadership on this important topic.

At Aegis we continue to work with the leaders in the mobile device, mobile carrier, automobile and insurance industries to advance solutions. With our pioneering partnership with the State of Iowa, we are also beginning to deliver solutions through State governments.

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