Shelby: It is April, and that means Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Unfortunately, car crashes are the number one killer of teens. And since teens are the most prone to distracted and reckless driving, we decided to check out a device that some parents are hoping will keep young drivers safe. Keith Kocinski has the story.
Keith: Picture this: you just get your driver’s license. Now it is just you, your ride and the open road. Are you really alone though? Well, with this little device your parents can watch your every move.
Jonathan Rojas: It made me feel weird because I would feel like they’re right there with me.
Marie Bello: As a teenager you kind of want your own, you know, your freedom but you don’t want to get tracked by your parents all the time.
Stephanie Hernandez: I actually do think the roads would be safer because the parents are knowing what the child is doing.
Keith: Tracking devices in cars are nothing new, but tracking through your smartphone is starting to gain popularity. There are many new businesses popping up competing to track driving for corporate companies and now everyday people.
That is what got 23-year old entrepreneur and Stanford grad Giancarlo Daniele thinking. He is the co-founder of Drive Pulse, a company located in Mountain View, California.
Giancarlo Daniele: From high school, I was very interested in entrepreneurship.
Keith: Right now the company is centered around this small transmitter that is hooked up underneath your steering wheel and paired with a smartphone once the Drive Pulse app is downloaded. Then the person with the smartphone receives notification of the driver’s location, speed, acceleration and hard braking.
Drive Pulse hit the market last November and Giancarlo says half of his customers are parents buying the device to monitor teen drivers.
Giancarlo: I’m only 23 years old, and I was 16 not too long ago, so definitely not intended to be a teen tracking device at all.
Keith: Then why did he create it?
Giancarlo: For millions of car owners, they have no 21st-century way to communicate with their car and see what’s going on on their smartphone.
Keith: He says this means safer roads for drivers and a better driving experience. He says Drive Pulse can help plan a more efficient route, know how much gas is left in your car or if there are any problems with it.
So I am outside Drive Pulse and I am just about to hop into the driver seat while Giancarlo is inside tracking my progress using the app. Let’s take a look.
Giancarlo: This shows that the car is on right now and is just sitting in the parking lot wasting gas.
Keith: After hearing all this, we decide to give it a try. We whip around a few corners, put the pedal to the medal and then hit the brakes. Alerts begin to immediately show up on Giancarlo’s smartphone. Definitely don’t try this at home. But don’t worry. This test is being done safely in an empty parking lot.
Giancarlo: Keith must be accelerating really quickly and slamming really hard on the brakes.
From the information we have, it seems like you wouldn’t want to be on the road around Keith.
Keith: Keith Kocinski, Channel One News.
Shelby: To learn more about Giancarlo’s road to starting a business and to hear his advice for young entrepreneurs, zip on over to ChannelOne.com.