Communities and states are clamoring to make driving safer by restricting the use of mobile devices while a vehicle is moving. While the iOnRoad Augmented Driving (free/$4.99) app probably won’t reduce the number of fatalities on the road, the app does provide a new and interesting way to prevent rear-end collisions.
A complicated app with a simple purpose
iOnRoad has a unique idea, which I think could catch on in the right context — probably not for lawyers.
The idea is simple: iOnRoad Augmented Driving app acts as an in-car monitor to evaluate your following distance between cars. The app warns of danger ahead by giving you safety indicators and alerts based on your road position and speed.
Depending on your distance between vehicles and your speed, iOnRoad will send you a warning alert if you’re too close.
The app works by monitoring your vehicle’s position in relation to a “green zone” of safety.
When you move too close to another vehicle, iOnRoad sends a warning beep. Here’s also where you score “points” for safe driving — stay in green and you get more points. There’s probably a point to this, but I couldn’t figure that out.
iOnRoad allows you to set your default navigation and music apps — mine is Waze and Pandora.
You can also tell iOnRoad whether you want to ignore text messages or have them read to you.
I’m not overly impressed with the “narrator” — the narrator never worked for me — but I guess it beats having to read the message while driving. As you see, you can also send calls to the speaker. I disabled this, since all of my calls can route through my car’s speakers.
iOnRoad offers video recording, which probably works well for someone who’s in a lot of fender benders.
The free version only records about 5 seconds, and for any long trips, I’d worry about storage space on my phone. And I would worry a lot, since I couldn’t find any of my three 5 second movies. I’m not sure if that’s user error — except I’m kind of a big deal when it comes to Android — or whether the free app doesn’t save the videos (even though it says it’s saved), or whether it’s a device issue. I’m thinking the issue’s device/developer related, since I also had problems with the image freezing mid-recording.
iOnRoad has an interesting “find my car” feature. Just click the button, and the app will automatically locate your car after parking. After each drive (or manually if you want) the iOnRoad app will ask whether you want to save the location. That’s a handy feature, but again, more novelty than preference.
And the verdict is . . .
Overall, unless you really care about tailgating — the following in your car too closely kind — iOnRoad probably won’t matter much. iOnRoad is a fun novelty app, but for sedentary lawyers, this app isn’t going to change your life. I like the idea and novelty, so I’m giving iOnRoad Augmented Driving 3 of 5 stars.