Boston’s roads may be getting a little safer, thanks to drivers’ mobile phones. A new competition from the city of Boston is putting these devices — traditionally one of the biggest sources of driver distraction — to work to measure and improve users’ driving.
Announced by Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Monday, the Boston’s Safest Driver Competition will use a smartphone app developed by MIT spinout Cambridge Mobile Telematics to score drivers on behaviors associated with safer driving. Drivers who have the safest records will be eligible for prizes throughout the competition, which runs through Dec. 3.
The competition marks the first time that a city has turned to the emerging technology of telematics — apps and hardware that measure driving behavior — Walsh said at a Monday launch event in Copley Square.
“We are looking at new technology … and we’re working to educate road users on how to maximize safety,” Walsh said. “I think that’s one of the biggest things we can do is to make sure we educate all people. That’s the area where innovation can help us, and we can even have some fun with it.”