Ivrnet teams up to release GetVext

Calgary, AB (April 18, 2011): Ivrnet and Maven holdings team up to release GetVext

Ivrnet has teamed up with a U.S. software company to provide a much-needed solution to the issue of distracted driving.

Ivrnet’s new partner, GetVext, is promoting a program that allows cell phone users to text hands-free.  Not only is this more convenient, but it has the potential to save lives.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a distracted driver was reported in 20 per cent of injury accidents in the United States in 2009.  Distraction was also a factor in fatal accidents. Of those accidents, 18 per cent involved cell phones.  This translates to nearly one thousand crashes in the United States last year that were caused by a driver using a cell phone. 

With cell phones becoming the standard mode of communication, a new aspect for motor vehicle safety needs to be considered. Local and regional governments have responded with laws that ban drivers from holding a cell phone while behind the wheel of a vehicle.  Many companies have established employee policies that enforce this same restriction.

Even Oprah Winfrey has joined the cause, asking her fans to sign a “No Phone Zone” pledge stating that they will not use a cell phone while driving.

The exception to these restrictive rules is the use of a hands-free device for calls. When using a hands-free device, a driver’s conversation with callers would be no different than with someone inside the car. The ability to react to the ebb and flow of traffic is optimal when both hands are on the wheel.

According to research by Nielsen Company, North American children aged 13-17 send an average of 3,339 texts each month, which is about one every 10 waking minutes.  After they reach adulthood, the numbers drop, but only to 1,630 each month.  The reliance on texting as a means of communicating has been on the rise since cell phones have become more commonplace.  With every new generation of drivers comes a new statistic regarding the consequences of cell phone use while driving.

The increased use of this communicative tool has brought urgency to the demand for a device that would accommodate hands-free texting. The partnership of Ivrnet and GetVext (Vext being a contraction of Voice-Text) seeks to provide a safe and convenient solution for cell phone users to communicate while using existing technology.  

GetVext is simple to use.  The software is activated by the push of one speed-dial button; the rest is done entirely hands-free.  With contacts previously uploaded, the user merely speaks the name of the person they wish to text and then dictates the message.

“Text Steve. I will be 15 minutes late. Traffic brutal.”

By speaking a simple command a person can also “group text” by sending a message to several people at once. Even hanging up is done by voice command.

The key to GetVext’s success is its highly accurate voice recognition program. This was developed in large part by Ivrnet, a company that made its name with voice recognition technology (the IVR stands for Interactive Voice Recognition). The president of GetVext, Larry Favalora, says the software currently produces 95 per cent of the words correctly, and has the ability to learn words to increase its accuracy over time.

The system is not only limited to text messaging. It’s just as easy for a person to update his or her Facebook status or to tweet a message in Twitter.  With Ivrnet and GetVext working together, this application may soon be launched into other platforms as well. 

Since the demand for this kind of service is obvious, a competitive market of providers is growing. However, as Favalora points out, other systems demand more of the driver’s attention than GetVext does.  By using other applications on the market, users may inadvertently break the law that they’re attempting to adhere to.

Most of the competition uses an application format that involces more hands on commanding. The driver must wake up the phone, scroll through the applications, select the app, scroll through the names in the address book and then select the command in the task menu. All this must be done without having two hands on the wheel and while trying to keep their eyes on the road.

With GetVext, as mentioned, you just have to push a speed-dial button, which can be done without even looking at the keyboard.

People love their cars and people love their cell phones, so it’s not surprising people will instinctively combine the two. But thanks to GetVext and Ivrnet, there is no longer a safety concern or a risk of getting a traffic ticket when sending a message from a cell phone to family, friends, or even business associates.

 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

Research on distracted driving reveals some surprising facts:

  • 20 percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA).
  • Of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashed, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction (18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes). (NHTSA)
  • In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. (FARS and GES)
  • The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group – 16 percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. (NHTSA)
  • Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
  • Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (Source: University 

 

Highlights

Police-reported data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the National Automotive Sampling show that:

  • In 2009, there were 30,797 fatal crashes in the United States, which involved 45,230 drivers. In those crashes 33,808 people died.
  • In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in crashes involving driver distraction (16% of total fatalities).
  • The proportion of fatalities reportedly associated with driver distraction increased from 10 percent in 2005 to 16 percent in 2009. During that time, fatal crashes with reported driver distraction also increased from 10 percent to 16 percent.
  • The portion of drivers reportedly distracted at the time of the fatal crashes increased from 7 percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2009.
  • The under-20 age group had the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes (16%). The age group with the next greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the 20- to-29-year-old age group – 13 percent of all 20-to-29-year-old drivers in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted.
  • Of those drivers reportedly distracted during a fatal crash, the 30-to-39-year-old drivers were the group with the greatest proportion distracted by cell phones. Cell phone distraction was reported for 24 percent of the 30-to-39-year-old distracted drivers in fatal crashes.
  • Light-truck drivers and motorcyclists had the greatest percentage of total drivers reported as distracted at the time of the fatal crash (12% each). Bus drivers had the lowest percentage (6%) of total drivers involved in fatal crashes that were reported as distraction-related.
  • An estimated 20 percent of 1,517,000 injury crashes were reported to have involved distracted driving in 2009.

 


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