Irish Times 15 Oct 2018
Product works by plugging a tiny device into the car which feeds information to an app
A device to enable the parents of young drivers to monitor their driving behaviour remotely and in real time in order to cut down on road fatalities has been designed by an Irish entrepreneur.
Young drivers are the most vulnerable on Irish roads. Between 2014 and 2017, 47 learner drivers were involved in fatal collisions, an average of almost one per month.
In addition, the Road Safety Authority, in its most recent report, stated that those between the ages of 16 and 25 were the highest risk age group in 2017.
The product, which is called Targify, has been developed to curb bad practices such as speeding, sudden braking and harsh cornering.
“It’s well up the worry scale of any parent: their teenage or 20-something son or daughter driving alone at night for the first time with their newly-minted N-plate,” said founder Greg McGarry.
“Are they driving carefully or dangerously? Are they keeping within the speed limit or going too fast? Are they hitting the pedal too hard or driving responsibly? Parents simply don’t know, and that’s a big worry.
“Parents will be able to independently buy an inexpensive product that can give them real-time feedback on their son’s or daughter’s driving and possibly save their lives.”
The product works by plugging a tiny device into the car which feeds information to an app on the user’s phone, which will tell them if there’s excessive speed or acceleration, harsh braking or dangerous cornering.
It also gives a driving score so that improvements can be monitored on a weekly basis. With its location data it can also be used as a tracking device if the car is stolen.
Mr McGarry said young drivers can use it to improve their driving without fear of any infractions hiking their insurance premiums.
“Parents do want to keep an eye of the behaviour of their new drivers, but there’s a worry currently that if that data is shared with insurers it will somehow be held against them in future,” he said.
“With Targify, they can monitor and almost literally steer the improvements of their N-plate drivers at a critical time of their driving lives.”
Mr McGarry said the system is a redeployment of existing technology currently in operation around the world.
“We had already supplied this to insurers around the world, but we have made some modifications and enhancements so that it can be used on a more individual basis – by the parents or guardians of young drivers,” he said.
Targify costs €99.99 plus a monthly subscription fee of €14.99.