A new device designed by Bluesona company reduce fatalities on Ireland’s roads while also making it easier for young people to get insurance.
According to the Road Safety Authority, driver distraction accounts for up to a third of all road fatalities. And mobile phone use makes motorists four times more likely to crash.
But the ‘Loop’, a small piece of equipment designed by Bluesona, could change all that.
The brainchild of entrepreneurs Oliver Ferris, Denis Bourne and Mel Morrison, the Loop locks down all incoming calls and notifications to mobile phones, allowing the driver to give their full attention to the road in front of them. If the driver does pick up with their mobile device, the Loop captures the information with location, date, time and speed that the interaction took place.
The ultimate benefit is a reduction in crashes. But there is also a financial incentive, particularly for young drivers. The information collated by the Loop can be requested by insurance companies when considering quotes. If the feedback they receive from Bluesona is positive, it could lead to a discount in the cost of insurance.
The Loop was unveiled at the launch of the Garage Project on Tuesday night. An off-shoot of the Pro Social course, Garage is an innovative new project aimed at giving young people hands-on experience of a car before they get behind the wheel.
Co-designer of the Loop, Oliver Ferris, said Bluesona’s technology was about encouraging driver safety while also helping young people secure an insurance policy they can afford.
Mr Ferris said, “It is about driver awareness. Using the Loop, drivers can see that they used their phone and that it is an issue. The insurance company can then request the information from us and if they see you have not used your mobile device then they can reduce the premium. But if they see constant use they can increase the price or cut their cover altogether.”
Bluesona is in advanced talks with one of Ireland’s big insurance companies about factoring the Loop into their business. It will be available through insurers who will provide users with all the details they need.
Donegal County Council’s Road Safety Officer Brian O’Donnell said he was firmly behind the new technology.
Describing it as a ‘no brainer’, Mr O’Donnell said, “We have tried a number of things over the years, devices like a wallet that you put your phone in and it shuts off your signal. But this device will help make our roads distraction-free if people adopt the idea properly.
“If we can get it rolled out as part of an insurance package and young people buy into it to the point where it leads to cheaper insurance for them, then to me it is a no brainer.
“Driver distraction is a major problem and if this device helps overcome that distraction then I am behind it,” Mr O’Donnell added.
Author: Donegal News