Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Mobile Application for Reporting Bad Drivers -Targeting Los Angeles

A technology company has developed an iPhone application where users can report the license plate number of vehicles they deem driving inappropriately The "app" called DriveMeCrazy is available for free and apparently promotes some aspect of hands free use, allowing the user to speak the license plate number.

From reading the FAQ on the application's website - the company does send over a list of offending vehicles plate numbers to the various Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) but they don't know if anything is done with the information.

The application also has social aspects as features, allowing for flirting with other people in the system - almost like a chat or message system based on your vehicle.

The company seems to have a special message Los Angeles drivers, as a quote from Philip Inghelbrecht, one of the entrepreneurs behind the company was reported in the LA Times -
And he wanted to broadcast a special alert to the traffic capital of the United State: Los Angeles.
"The AAA Foundation says that aggressive driving behavior is the cause of more than half of the 6 million automobile crashes that occur in the U.S. every year. We believe that bad driving comes from a feeling of motorist anonymity," Inghelbrecht said in an e-mail. "Currently drivers believe only police officers can report them. As a result, there is inadequate 'peer pressure' to avoid aggressive or dangerous driving."

Our city is definitely busy and auto-centric city. In Los Angeles, motor vehicle accidents of all types happen for many reasons, and aggressive as well as distracted drivers can be part of the causes. Will this "crowdsourcing" or peer-pressure effect do anything? Does this intrude on privacy and perhaps even safety? At the very least it is an interesting example of how the mobile internet can affect people in ways unimaginable just a few years ago.

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