Kean University industrial design students Dominick DeLello, Alex Lorenca and Michael Blaine were recently honored by the Designs for Safety Competition. Sponsored by The World Traffic Safety Symposium and the New York International Automobile Show, the annual invitation-only contest receives entries from students at top design schools across the nation. This year’s entries addressed the theme: The Car, The Driver, and The Road; Saving Lives on Today’s Roadways.
“We wanted to tackle a driver's problem that is a major concern for this era,” said Dominick Delleo, a Kean University senior. DeLello, Lorenca and Blaine developed DText, a system that discourages vehicular texting by wirelessly monitoring mobile phone use and applying gamification principles to the modern-day distracted driving epidemic. The students were mentored by Matt Johnson, academic coordinator for the Kean University industrial design program.
Researchers have found the impact of cell phone use on drivers reaction times is comparable to a .08% blood alcohol content. Faced with such troubling statistics, the students developed a novel technology based solution. D-Text uses a frequency detector to monitor cell phone use. The Track Your Trip app records how many miles you drive without sending a text. The program incentivizes safe driving, distributing points which can be redeemed for gift cards of insurance deductions. The D-Text system also includes a storage compartment and a wireless charger that utilizes magnetic resonance technology.
DeLello, Lorenca and Blaine were awarded third place honors in the Designs for Safety Competition and a $1,250 cash prize. They were also invited to attend Auto Show awards dinner. The team’s award winning design is on display at the New York International Auto Show in the Jacob Javits Center now through May 4, 2014.