iOnRoad Wants You To Check Your Cell Phone While Driving

You thought you weren't supposed to use your phone while driving. But Israeli startup Picitup uses augmented reality to warn you of dangers on the road ahead.


Admit it: Every once in a while you send a text message or check your email while driving. Chances are, your cell phone manufacturer doesn't encourage this kind of behavior. But Israeli startup Picitup wants you to keep your eyes glued on your cell phone while driving—at least for part of the time.

The company's recently introduced iOnRoad app uses augmented reality technology to act as a kind of visual radar for danger on the road. Drivers simply place their cell phone on a dashboard mount and let the app do its magic. IOnRoad maps the objects in front of drivers (i.e. cars, trees, people) in real time and calculates current driving speed. If the app senses that a driver is in danger of a collision, a visual warning pops up and a sound alert goes off.

For drivers who still think it might not be the best idea to watch their cell phone while on the road, (and this lengthy New York Times series certainly made a compelling case for that), the app has a "background mode" option, allowing it to remain hidden until danger is sensed. That's probably the safest option. Check out iOnRoad in action below.

[Images: iOnRoad]

Reach Ariel Schwartz via Twitter or email.

Read More: Road Rulz: Teen Driver Safety Tech for Parents

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  • Alon Atsmon

    Thanks Mike, As the CEO of Picitup I wanted to address some of the interesting points you made here:
    We are happy that people like you appreciate the tremendous R&D effort we put into this App. the use of In-car, warning systems for car to car accidents alone, have already shown to significant decrease the number of causalities. The issue has been they are not affordable. We hope our free APP will demonstrate similar reduction. Our initial user groups do report safer driving.
    The video does not show that yet, but we naturally do use audio warning as well, those are especially effective when used in background mode.

    Feel free to contact us with any further points ( you can use our facebook page). We are continuously improving our App and any feedback will be much appreciated :)



  • Mike Gross

    The technology is great, but Picitup's application doesn't make much sense. Watching your cell phone while driving debate aside, the bigger issue for me is that most rear-end collisions occur so quickly that an on-screen warning would seem to provide little or no benefit in reaction/braking time. Maybe if you were coming up on stopped traffic and didn't notice brake lights ahead, but I don't see the usefulness of this in the normal traffic flow (as demonstrated on the video). You can clearly see how far you are behind the car in front of you. I imagine there are very few accidents where one car speeds up and rear-ends another without knowning they are going to crash--unless the at-fault driver was on his/her cell phone... :)