A little personal narrative: I took a summer course during college about crisis management and one of the big projects thrown on top of the class was about creating a campaign to reduce texting-while-driving behavior for a global public relations competition (fun fact: the PR initiative was sponsored by alcoholic drinks distributor AmBev). One campaign entered into competition revolved around an app that incentivized users to not touch their phones.
Texi is pretty much what that app should be. The Dilawri Foundation, — a philanthropic arm of Canada’s largest auto dealership group — in association with TELUS and Kernels Popcorn, is responsible for the app which it hopes to satisfy users’ “need to stay in touch while eliminating the risks that come with distracted driving.”
Users activate Texi before hopping into their vehicle and earn one point per minute driven without using their smartphones. The app will automatically respond to incoming SMS with “fun and playful memes on Android devices.” Users earn referral points when letting their friends know about Texi.
All those points go into monthly drawings for gas cards, electronics, gift certificates and, for those driving for more than 15 minutes, a Honda Fit.
In a survey, 90 percent of respondents believed texting while driving is socially unacceptable. 22 percent of drivers admitted to doing so.
The app’s on the App Store and Google Play, but only in Canada.