Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Komeda Co., Ltd. (Komeda), and KDDI Corporation (KDDI) began an initiative on September 20, 2016 utilising a smartphone application called Driving Barista. The application is aimed at reducing the number of traffic accidents in Aichi Prefecture which are caused by drivers using their smartphones while driving. This is the first traffic safety initiative in Japan involving a smartphone application, which is carried out and jointly promoted by an automobile company, a communication company, and a food and beverage company.
For thirteen consecutive years, Aichi Prefecture has had the highest rate of traffic fatalities in Japan. In 2015 alone, there were 44,3691 traffic accidents which resulted in injuries or deaths. Furthermore, there were also 50,1011 arrests involving the use of smartphones while driving, and the increase in violations of this nature has also intensified the problem.
This high figure is indicative of the importance to reduce the large number of traffic accidents in the prefecture. In response, ten Nagoya-based media companies2 have come together to work towards the goal of making the prefecture’s roads safer under the banner of the “AICHI: No Longer the Worst” project, which began on August 2. Toyota and KDDI are also sponsors of this project.
Toyota, Komeda, and KDDI will begin their own joint project in tandem with the Japanese government’s 2016 Autumn Traffic Safety Campaign (September 21-30). The companies will promote traffic safety in Aichi Prefecture through an educational initiative where participation is accessible for all, and can lead to a reduction in traffic accidents.
The Driving Barista application can only be used within Aichi Prefecture. By utilising the gyro sensor to sense the tilt of the smartphone body, and the GPS to determine the distance driven, this application measures the distance the driver has driven while leaving the smartphone facedown. When the cumulative distance reaches 100 km3, the driver can receive a coupon for a cup of blended or iced coffee at a Komeda Coffee Shop4.
According to one survey, approximately 60% of respondents said they use their smartphones while driving, with approximately half5 of these respondents keeping only one hand on the steering wheel. Therefore, the companies hope that the new application will raise drivers’ awareness about not using smartphones while driving.
With regards to the initiative, Managing Officer Shuichi Murakami of Toyota said: “In line with contributing to the ultimate goal of achieving zero traffic fatalities and zero traffic accidents, Toyota has implemented automobile safety measures as one of its top priority management concerns. By carrying out a new traffic safety education initiative together with Komeda and KDDI, we hope to further reduce traffic accidents.”
Managing Director Masashi Komanba of Komeda said: “As a company that has been supported by the residents of Aichi Prefecture, we hope to help reduce the number of traffic accidents there through our participation as a provider of great coffee.”
The Director-in-charge of CSR and Environment at KDDI, Akira Dobashi, also stated that, “we have already been carrying out educational activities to prevent the use of smartphones while driving, and we hope that this initiative between the three companies will help solve the problem facing Aichi Prefecture. We developed the Driving Barista smartphone application as a fun way to help prevent traffic accidents. We hope to contribute to accident prevention by providing a new experience for drivers.”
Toyota, KDDI, and Komeda will continue to take steps toward the realisation of a safe and secure society.
“South Africa has one of the world’s highest road accident rates with around 25% of these accidents cause by drivers using their cellphones while driving. South Africa is experiencing an increase in accidents caused by using your cellphone while driving resulting in a major economic impact on the country’s GDP. Apps like Driving Barista will assist in reducing road accidents caused by cellphones dramatically, which will not only make our roads safer but will reduce the impact on the economy. Driving Barista is currently in the pilot stage but we hope that similar apps will make their way to South Africa soon,” said Glenn Crompton, Vice President of Marketing at Toyota South Africa Motors.
- Application download period: Starting September 20, 2016
- Application usage period: September 20, 2016 to October 6, 2016
- Coffee coupon redemption period: September 20, 2016 to October 31, 2016
- 1Data compiled by the Aichi Prefectural Police
- 2OrganizerChunichi Shimbun, Co-hosts CBC Television, Tokai Television Broadcasting, Nagoya Broadcasting Network, Chukyo Television Broadcasting, Aichi Television Broadcasting, CBC Radio, Tokai Radio Broadcasting, FM AICHI, ZIP-FM.
- 3100 km the first time, and every 200 km thereafter.
- 4Customers may redeem coffee coupons in stores after 12:00 pm. Coupons may not be redeemable at some store locations.
- 5Data compiled by KDDI Corporation. Any use of a smartphone, regardless of whether the car is moving or stopped at a traffic signal, etc., was counted as use of a smartphone while driving.