Got a sticker on the back of your company car, van or lorry that asks people to judge your driving? How about proving it to your boss?
Flo, an Android app, is part game, part driving improvement. You download it, get in your car, stick your phone on charge (because this will use GPS) and it’ll automatically start recording your drive when you move.
The app will monitor your acceleration, braking and how quickly you’re driving and taking corners. If it judges your driving to be erratic or uneconomical it’ll provide audio feedback in the form of negative sound effects. You also get a score, which increases when your driving is economical. As an example, if you take a corner slowly and accelerate smoothly you’ll earn points, but if you accelerate away hard, brake suddenly and take corners too quickly you’ll hear a warning sound and will lose points.
I’ve given this a try over the past few days and have found it to sometimes tell me off when I’m going round corners at quite sedate speeds. It’s either the GPS or the fact that I consider the speed to be safe and the app doesn’t, I’m not sure. This is still in beta though, and I’d perhaps like to see more use of the motion sensors in the phone to detect sudden acceleration and deceleration. Currently motion sensors and GPS is used together, but there might need to be some tweaking based on the type of car in future versions. Taking a corner in a big BMW is going to be a much smoother experience than doing it in a tiny Daihatsu or VW Up, but the app could judge it the same in some cases.
Each trip you do is broken up into 3 mile sections, and when you complete your trip you can look back via a Google Maps interface to see where you were perhaps driving too aggressively.
Decos Managing Director, Moniek Hop, tells us…
The end result is motivation to become a better driver while reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. You’ll not only save money on fuel costs but also treat your car better, which means it will last longer. Flo is an environmental and economic solution to the climate issues that confront everyone.
The sounds and colours (the whole background of the app flashes) will quickly become recognisable so you won’t need to look at the app whilst driving, plus everything automatically starts and finishes by itself so you don’t need to worry about it.
Here’s how the maps look after you’ve completed your journey. You can see the sections where I’ve driven well and (according to the app) not so well. If you’re a delivery driver then you could perhaps show your boss when you ask for a pay rise ;)
It’s completely free and you can give it a try here.