The Qatar Mobility Innovation Centre (QMIC) will soon launch the test of an application that can restrict people from using mobile phones while behind the wheel, Gulf Times has learnt.
“We are going to pilot the technology that will target enterprises rather than individuals.We expect the enterprises to adopt the technology and follow it,” said Dr. Adnan Abu-Dayya, executive director and CEO, QMIC.
Dr. Abu-Dayya said QMIC has been working on this project since 2014. “The whole concept of restraining the drivers from using mobile phones is a complicated process. It is a complicated model from user adoptability, complicated from business perspective as well as from technology viewpoint,” Dr Aby-Dayya noted.
“We can embed this technology in a mobile through a software that can detect whether the person is driving or not. It can also set the speed limit within which the phone can be used. The software can be set in such a fashion that either the person can control the phone or the app itself will control the phone.
“So, when a call is received, the phone automatically sends a message saying that the person is driving and cannot take the call. Even if a person wants to call or send any message, the app will not allow it.”
However, according to the official, the major problem is the adoptability of the technology. “We launched it sometime back and our focus was on individuals. We launched an android application and if it is turned on, the phone will follow the directions of the app,” he pointed out.
“But not many people were willing to use this app on their phones which became a major hurdle. People did not want to use it. We thought of giving incentives but the usage was very low,” he lamented.
“Therefore, we have decided to change the focus to the enterprises (companies). With this technology, the enterprises can control the phones of their employees. If an enterprise has a large number of vehicles, the manager of the enterprise can remotely control the phones of the drivers and other employees,” he highlighted.
“To make the programme successful, each enterprise must have a policy or regulation of restricting the drivers and employees from using the phone while driving. The managers can set the phones and instruct the employees when to use the phone and when it cannot be used. The software can also detect any violation on the part of the employees,” he continued.
Dr Abu-Dayya said that QMIC has the best solution for the problem in the region itself. “We need to increase awareness as well as the use of the technology. We also have to change the mindset. If all the enterprises follow the system and enforce a policy for the employees, we believe that we have a chance to tackle mobile phone use while driving to a great extent which in turn will increase road safety,” he added.
The use of mobile phones while driving is a major cause of road traffic accidents across the world.
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