We all know texting while driving is dangerous, yet we still do it – we just can’t help ourselves.
Now, safety no longer has to be comprised. Israeli startup Radiomize has created a steering wheel cover embedded with text-to-speech technology and a matching mobile app. This patented gadget fits most vehicles, allowing drivers to control their phones without taking their focus off the road. According to Radiomize, its technology can reduce distracted driving by 23 percent.
Radiomize’s app also creates a personal playlist which learns user preferences, so drivers won’t need to fiddle with the radio while driving.
The company recently launched a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo to raise funds for mass production. With five days remaining on the campaign, Radiomize has already raised 147 percent of its original $50,000 goal, reaching $73,500. The price of one unit starts at $49.
How does Radiomize work? The connected app simply reads incoming messages aloud and also curates personal playlists for each driver based on music preferences from their social media profiles. That way, drivers don’t have to search for radio stations and become distracted. By double-tapping the touch sensor embedded within the steering wheel cover, the driver can seamlessly change the song – and never take their eyes off the road.
Distracted driving: The leading cause of car accidents
Founded in April 2015 by Shmuel Kaz and Gilad Landau, Radiomize’s mission is to reduce car accidents. Drunk driving is no longer the leading cause of car accidents, “being distracted is”, Kaz warns. Sending a quick text message to someone or fiddling with the radio can be just as dangerous as having a few drinks.
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Although many media campaigns illustrate the danger of texting while driving – along with hefty fines that are supposed to deter drivers from doing so – people still grab their phones when the traffic light turns red (and sometimes in the midst of driving). This is because “people don’t like to hear what they can’t do – they want to hear what they can do,” Kaz tells NoCamels.
Since our need to be constantly connected isn’t likely to disappear, telling us to ditch our cellphones is simply not going to happen, Kaz fears. And Radiomize is not the only company that capitalizes on that; last year, Israeli startup RayGo completed a successful crowd-funding campaign for a similar gadget-app combo.
Soon, Radiomize will be integrated with Google Maps and Waze for turn-by-turn guidance, according to Kaz. Currently in English, the interface will soon have several languages, as well as a premium feature that will assist those with hearing disabilities. Radiomize will also be made available for motorcycles and bicycles, ensuring that anyone who gets behind a wheel is focused on the road.
Until then, please stop driving while “intexticated.”
Photos and video: Courtesy