SafeDrivePod is expanding into Italy. The Dutch-based tech company, which offers a solution to block smartphone touch screens while driving, previously ventured onto the Belgian and German markets.
The SafeDrivePod system consists of a coin-sized object (pictured) in the car, an app on the driver’s smartphone and a server providing the fleet manager with an overview of smartphone use by employees.
The smartphone screen automatically blocks while driving, and unblocks 30 seconds after the car has stopped. Repeatedly switching off the system will send an alert to the employer, fleet manager or insurer. The system does allow for hands-free calls to be placed and received while driving.
In Italy, SafeDrivePod will be operated via a licensee, who will also serve the Swiss and Albanian markets. Further steps will soon follow, as the company aims to cover Europe entirely within 18 months. “It’s easier to work via licensees than to start own subsidiaries in each and every country”, confirms Paul Hendriks, co-owner of SaveDrivePod. He points out that through working with licencees the process stays compact and the speed of implementation is higher.
Next target markets for SaveDrivePod are Greece, which will go live within a few weeks, followed soon by France, the UK and Spain. Norway is also under consideration.
The company contends that up to 25% of total vehicle damages relate to drivers distracted by their smartphones and that its system can reduce damage cost by 15%, generally providing a Return on Investment within a single year. At present, the system is used by about 50 corporate fleets, for a total of 5,400 vehicles. But growth will happen exponentially as next to the European roll-out, SaveDrivePod also talks to insurance and leasing companies to integrate the service in their insurance package.
Last year SaveDrivePod won the bronze medal at the Fleet Europe Awards, category International Fleet Industry Award.