Whenever something appears that could potentially save the lives of cyclists, we are immediately interested. Sometimes however, these things don’t just interest us, they make us stop and say “wow”.
The latest radio advert from Toyota in Sweden is most definitely one of these examples.
Sweden is a country that is renowned for their attitude to road safety. Roads in Sweden are built with safety prioritised over speed and convenience. Travel on a Swedish road and you will find low urban speed limits, pedestrian zones and barriers that separate cars from cyclists. These are just a few of the factors that have enabled Sweden to possess some of the world’s safest roads. This is not enough for the country however, road safety is an on-going concern in Sweden.
Written into Swedish law is the Vision Zero Initiative. This can be summarised in one sentence – “no loss of life is acceptable”. With this initiative, it is Sweden’s aim to eliminate road deaths completely. With their latest radio advert, this is something that Toyota intend to assist with.
Using technology to assist with road safety, Toyota’s radio advert uses Siri and Google Voice to actually switch off an iPhone or Android phone’s text and call abilities, making drivers less likely to use these devices, and in turn increasing road safety. Welcome news to cyclists, we say
Actually incredibly basic in principle, the advert simple hijacks technology that is already available. You may already be aware of Siri And Google Voice, voice recognition software that is pre-installed on newer iPhone and Android models respectively. Well, all that this advert does is use a voice to activate this voice recognition software with a simple “Hey Siri” or “OK Google”. Once in control, the voice on the advert then commands the phone to switch to flight mode, preventing any calls or texts to be made or received. Simple, but at the same time, incredibly clever.
See the advert for yourself below.