A couple worried about teaching their sixteen-year-old son good driving habits has invented a device that allows parents to peak in on how their kids are driving.
Jaideep and Sandhya Jain were featured in USA Today for their start-up company Truvolo. Truvolo is a small device that plugs directly into a car's on-board computer. The device then sends stats about the car's health as well as the driving habits of the operator back to a smartphone. Truvolo notes G-forces from abrupt acceleration, deceleration and swerving. It also accesses information usually reserved for mechanics, allowing users to catch dangerous problems well in advance of a breakdown. The device can also issue alerts when a driver has arrived at their destination.
The pair, who both hold masters degrees in computer science, came up with the device after having a hard time finding a similar product anywhere else.
"It wasn't about wanting to spy on him, but about making him a better driver," Jaideep told USA Today. "I looked at the statistics, and the first year of anyone's driving life has the most incidents, simply because you think you know everything but, of course, you don't."
The statistics do make a compelling case for using Truvolo. Traffic accidents are the number one cause of death among teens. Drivers aged 15 to 17 are eight times as likely to be involved in a car accident than those just a little bit older, ages 18 to 24, if they're carrying passengers, according a study from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.