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September 24, 2018

Samsung App Replies for Drivers, Comes to Dutch Campaign

In-Traffic Reply uses sensors to know when in-transit and links to multiple social media apps, such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

By jonathan chadwick

A Samsung Electronics application that automatically replies to social media messages whenever a phone is moving at more than 10km/h has been deployed in a Dutch campaign to prevent drivers from using their smartphones while driving.

Samsung Electronics said it is partnering with “Mono: Undisturbed”, an initiative launched earlier this month by the Dutch government’s Ministry of Infrastructure, following an increase in traffic fatalities, via its In-Traffic Reply app.

The campaign has signed agreements with multiple partners to make their product or service comply with Dutch safety standards, Samsung being the latest.

Smart Sensors For In-Traffic Replies

Samsung’s app, launched last year and available on Android, provides automated responses to social media messages. It automatically activates when it’s travelling at a speed of 10km/h per hour, through sensors such as GPS.

Users can send a default reply that says they’re in transit, an animated message with film clips or gifs, or a customised pre-set message. In-Traffic Reply links to multiple social media apps, such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Samsung says that users receive a notification when the In-Traffic Reply is activated and can switch it off if they’re not actually driving, so the issue of redundant notifications when they’re on a rollercoaster, train, plane, or horse can be resolved.

Samsung said that more than 100,000 Dutch people already have the app on their phone and is working to encourage more people to actively use it.

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Samsung Netherlands cited research by PanelWizard claiming that two thirds of Dutch people feel social pressure to respond to messages immediately, even while driving.

More than 70 percent of people in the country between the ages of 15 or 24 call or send messages while in traffic, it said. Over a quarter check their social media feed and one in five reply to a message while driving.

Gear VR for safe driving

Samsung said it is developing a number of other technologies to improve on-road safety globally. In Singapore last year, Samsung Electronics used its own VR content to demonstrate safe driving.

The “Eyes on the Road” experience used Samsung Gear VR to present potentially hazardous situations resulting from the driver being distracted by their smartphones.

Samsung also developed a smart bicycle helmet solution. The “Ahead” device clips onto a helmet and lets cyclists take hands-free phone calls when paired with a smartphone.

Outside of Samsung, Louisiana-based Cellcontrol provides its windshield-mounted Drive ID technology, which detects who is driving and blocks smartphone alerts.

AT&T also offers its free DriveMode app, which turns on at 15mph to silence alerts, respond to messages, and sends calls to voicemail.

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