Japan began on their first safety initiative last September 20, 2016 in cooperation with Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC). Through the app called Driving Barista, they aim to reduce the number of traffic accidents within the Aichi Prefecture often caused by drivers distracted with their smartphones while driving. The safety initiative was also done with the help of communication company, the Komeda Co., Ltd., and a food and beverage company, the KDDI Corporation.
The Aichi Perfecture has had the highest rate of traffic fatalities in Japan for thirteen years resulting in injuries and deaths. Moreover, 50,101 arrests were made involving the use of smartphones while driving. In order to stop this growing number of accidents, ten Nagoya-based media companies joined with the purpose of creating a safer prefecture under the banner of the "AICHI: No Longer the Worst" project beginning last August 2. Toyota and KDDI are also sponsors of this project.
"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," said Shuichi Murakami, Managing Officer of Toyota.
Toyota, Komeda, and KDDI began the joint project in tandem during the Japanese government's 2016 Autumn Traffic Safety Campaign. The ongoing program started on September 21 to promote traffic safety in Aichi Prefecture through an educational initiative that can lead to a reduction in traffic accidents.
The Driving Barista app can only be used within Aichi Prefecture. With the gyro sensor, it will be able to sense the tilt of the smartphone body. Meanwhile, the GPS will determine the distance driven allowing the app to measure the distance travelled while leaving the smartphone facedown. Once it reaches 100km, the driver can avail a coupon either for a cup of blended or iced coffee at a branch of Komeda Coffee Shop.
"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," said Masashi Komanba, Managing Director of Komeda.
"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," said Akira Dobashi, Director-in-charge of CSR and Environment at KDDI.