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Want To Be A Better Boston Driver? Now There's An App For That

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – A few weeks ago a survey ranked Boston-area drivers the worst in the country.

A Cambridge company has created a phone app that may offer hope for those who want to reform their ways on the road.

The apps creators say it could change the way people behave behind the wheel by tracking driving habits for better or for worse.

Cambridge Mobile Telematics app screen-Harsh Breaking
The new driving app from Cambridge Mobile Telematics gives drivers feedback on their phone. (Image courtesy of Cambridge Mobile Telematics)

Hari Balakrishnan, co-founder of Cambridge Mobile Telematics, explained that the app turns on when you get in the car. It keeps track of speed, braking, rough turns and even when a driver picks up the phone to call or text.

Depending on how they behave on the road, the app gives drivers green stars for good moves and red stars for bad ones. It also offers driving tips.

Cambridge Mobile Telematics app screen-Driving Tips
The new driving app from Cambridge Mobile Telematics gives drivers tips on their phone to improve their driving. (Image courtesy of Cambridge Mobile Telematics)

The app is being tested in South Africa where the insurance company sponsoring it offers good drivers incentives such as free gas.

Balakrishnan's business partner, Sam Madden, explained why.

"The thing you need to realize about the insurance companies is it's in their interest for you to be a better driver," he said. "They make more money when you don't get in accidents. It only costs money when you get in accidents."

Balakrishnan and Madden use the app themselves as they drive around Cambridge, and say it really changes the way you think.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Karen Twomey reports

New App Offers Hope To Reform Boston Drivers

"It is something that is always kind of in the back of your mind," Madden said. "My behavior is changing."

Balakrishnan compares the app to a Fit Bit and other devices that keep track of behavior that contributes to your fitness level.

He says that like the Fit Bit, the app serves as positive reinforcement to improve your behavior behind the wheel. "Good drivers are made, not born," he remarked.

The app will be available in Boston in a couple of months.


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