Not too long ago it seemed like something out of a science fiction novel: cars…
This Summer, we met up with The National Post in Toronto for an interview about DriveCare and its potential for increasing road safety by preventing cell phone use while driving. That interview ended up being a part of a major series of stories they were working on discussing distracted driving. Our feature made it to the front page of the National Post on November 30th, as a part of the story titled “Driven To Distraction”.
Read the full story here:
Five years ago, a texting driver plowed through a red light in Halifax, sending Josh Poulain’s younger brother and sister to the hospital.
The two teenagers recovered, but Josh and his father Angus started reading up on the ones who weren’t so lucky. Stories about crashes caused by distracted drivers were everywhere.
A different family might have been overwhelmed by anger and despair. Instead, Josh and Angus saw a software engineering challenge — and an opportunity.
“This honour system where we expect you to protect yourself, put your phone away while driving, it doesn’t work,” said Josh, now 26. “Technology created the problem and technology is the only way to solve the problem.”
Today, Josh and his father have a company called Keeping Roads Safe, which makes a product called DriveCare. The device prevents drivers’ mobile phones from displaying calls, texts and social media notifications while their vehicles are turned on, sending an automatic reply to incoming text messages informing the sender the recipient is driving and unable to respond.
After a year and a half of devoting themselves to the business full time, Josh and Angus say DriveCare has been installed in thousands of vehicles, with contracts in the works with major Canadian and U.S. companies who want to keep their drivers’ attention focused on the road.