Chevy calls out distracted drivers with new app

Chevrolet on Monday launched a smartphone app called Call Me Out to help remind drivers to put their phones down to minimize distractions while driving.

The Call Me Out app combines technological innovation with a personal touch. The app uses the phone's accelerometer and GPS to detect when the phone is physically picked up while traveling at speeds above 5 mph. It plays personalized messages from friends or family reminding drivers to keep their eyes on the road and put their phones down.

Chevrolet hosted a hackathon event in October 2016 where teams were challenged to propose ways to reduce distracted driving. That ultimately led to the creation of the Call Me Out app.

The app can be used in any car but currently is only for Android devices.

The audible alert system encourages users to invite friends and family to "call me out" and record a message. As an incentive to drivers, the application features a scoreboard and ranking system based on how often drivers are distracted by their phones. The less a phone is handled, the higher the driver is ranked on the application's leaderboard.

"With Call Me Out we are extending our commitment beyond the technologies integrated into GM and Chevy vehicles and are making the app available for Android phone users who drive other vehicle makes and models," Alan Batey, GM's president of North America, said in a statement posted by Chevrolet.

You can reach Danielle Szatkowski at dszatkowski@crain.com

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