Science and Technology

Wanted: your tech ideas to stop drivers using mobile phones

mobile phone in use

iMOVE partner the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has opened a Request For Information (RFI) process, looking for technology-based solutions to reduce instances of driver distraction due to use of mobile phones, tablets, smart watches, and other devices.

‘It is shocking that two thirds of Queenslanders admit to illegally using their phones while driving, and that is behaviour that contributes to crashes.” said Mark Bailey, QLD Minister for Transport and Main Roads.

‘We are investigating and assessing how technology can prevent people from using their mobile phones, tablets, smart watches or other devices while driving.’

The Request For Information is in essence a call for ideas, with TMR being open to anything that will aid in the reduction of death and hospitalisation directly attributable to driver distraction. As a guide for interested vendors, TMR has listed four broad types of technology that it’s interested in:

  1. Software: Mobile applications downloaded by everyday drivers as they choose to opt-in for the solution
  2. Hybrid: a combination of hardware devices, generally required to be plugged into the On-Board Diagnostic II port accompanied by software requiring download and installation
  3. Sensory: Devices that require integration into vehicles using sensory technology such as eye-tracking cameras and steering-wheel grip sensors (primarily observed in the regulated heavy vehicle / commercial industry)
  4. Enforcement: Stationary and / or mobile technology leveraging cameras and automated image profiling to identify illegal driver activity due to distraction and subsequent issuance of penalties in accordance with road rules

This Technology Solutions for Driver Distraction RFI is in line with Safer Roads, Safer Queensland: Queensland’s Road Safety Strategy 2015–21.

‘The investigation of technological solutions is just one part of the government’s efforts in tackling this high-risk activity’, said Minister Bailey.

‘Transport and Main Roads is engaging stakeholders who can play a role in solving driver distraction. These include technology companies, automotive manufacturers, telecommunications companies, mobile device manufacturers and insurance providers.

‘Only by working together can we develop new and innovative solutions to make our roads safer.’

How to participate

For more information on the Request For Information process, and for the application form, visit the Queensland Government’s Technology Solutions for Driver Distraction tender page. Applications close on 15 February 2019. After this date TMR will assess the submissions, with promising ideas invited to Doscovery Days, to be held from March 2019.

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