Tech Cocktail Shows Drivewise.ly Some Love

Bragging is a full-out art. It requires a certain finesse to make sure no one ends up annoyed, which, as many already know, is nearly impossible to do.

But today we just had to toot our own horn, because we were lucky enough to be featured in Tech Cocktail, a leading authority in the world of technology, entrepreneurship, and all things start-up.  Will Schmidt writes:

“…The true beauty of Driveway Software’s new app lies in the applications to the real world. Every driver owns the data supplied by their smartphone; it is unique to their driving style. Diner and Katsman, with impressive foresight, aim to have as many drivers as possible use this app to improve road safety.” – Will Schmidt, Tech Cocktail

To check out all the cool things Tech Cocktail had to say about us, click here. 

As a preemptive thank-you-for-letting-us-brag-a-bit, feel free to aww at this adorable guinea pig playing a tiny french horn.

Guinea pig

You’re welcome, internet.

Have No Fear, The New Drivewise.ly’s Here

Folks, it happened. Just when you thought Drivewise.ly couldn’t get any better we amped up the coolness factor to 300. Presenting Drivewise.ly 3.0, the latest app from Driveway Software.

So what’s so awesome about the new version, come check it out for yourself.

1. Brand New User Interface

photo (4) photo (3)

Sleek design and the ability to compete against your friends makes our latest release a one of a kind. Not only will you have all the great features of our older versions, including gas saving and safety tips, but you’ll be able to drive against your friends, and compete for badges.

2. Maps with Meaning

map2Route Legend

Gone are the days of maps that are only good for getting to and from places! Our new interactive maps give you a detailed view of your trip, highlighting all of your trouble spots. Trying to figure out the safest route? The newest Drivewise.ly lets you review all previous trip maps through the history screen, simply review your trips and avoid the trouble spots!

3. Tips That Help You Every Step of The Way

photo (1)notification

Actively trying to improve your driving? (Good. You should be!) Then you’ll love the new trip summary screen, where you can get detailed tips on every aspect of your driving, thanks to our new and improved driving algorithm. Having trouble checking your score after each trip? Our quick-view notification summary will alert you after each trip with a short summary of how you did.

4. Badges and the Ability to Finally Prove to Your Friends You’re a Better Driver

photo (2) copy

Ever gotten in a friend’s car only to realize they drive like a lunatic so you spend the entire car ride silently praying for a safe voyage? Yes? Us too. Confronting your friend on their crappy driving might put you at odds. Fortunately, thanks to the new Drivewise.ly, you won’t have that problem. The newest (and probably most awesome) feature lets you challenge your friends on the road, with head-to-head driving challenges. Too cool for friends? Then embark on the quest for “Green Miles” and “Saved on Gas” badges. The more you drive, the bigger your reward!

Ready to put your driving to the test? Download the new app here, follow us on Twitter here, and send us a shout-out on Facebook here.

Why Current Gas Apps Just Don’t Work

I, Shalott Cecchini have a problem. I’m not proud of it, but I admit it. I am the absolute worst about filling up my car. I have transformed the concept of driving on empty into an art, and pride myself in knowing how far I can take the flashing E before my car gives up. Sometimes though I mess up. Big time. Huge time actually. See, the problem with riding on E is that sometimes, you get lost and have absolutely no idea where you, or the nearest gas station, are. When this happens (and trust me it happens quite a bit), I scramble to find the nearest gas station pleading to every deity known to man that I don’t stall on the side of the road.

Thanks to my trusty Iphone, I found a bunch of apps claiming to help me lower my gas costs. Thinking I had finally solved my problem of riding on E I installed a couple. Here’s my review:

Gas buddy

Pro: Super sleek interface. I really like how you can sort through type of gas and divide it up by price and distance.

Con: Requires an annoying sign up process. I really like the idea of a map, but it doesn’t integrate with the GPS I use on my phone when I’m driving. I would have to switch screens as I’m driving in order to get the information, which is really unsafe and not something I’m willing to do. There’s also a surprisingly long process in sorting how to get the cheapest and closest gas station in map-form.

Gas Guru

Pro: Provides more info than just nearby gas, including roadside assistance and auto repair services.

Con: I like how I can find gas near home or work but I generally know my way around that area. It would be more helpful to find me gas when I don’t know where I am and thus don’t know where the nearest gas station is.

Cheap Gas!

Pro: Pretty much nothing.

Con: Really strange user interface. It’s not immediately clear what each button means. I’m pretty hesitant to hit the “cyborg” button. Additionally it tells me how close the cheapest gas station is but it doesn’t have a map feature for me to be able to see price and distance at the same time. It takes a pretty long time to figure out exactly what gas station fits my needs and since I’ll be using it when I’m driving, this app is really not an option.

Gas Cubby

Pro: Really great (albeit useless) design.

Con: Requires way too much information for me to use the app, including license plate, odometer reading, the exact price of gas during my last fill, and VIN number. I got impatient with this app after about 20 minutes of trying to get everything set up. This would have been a really great idea if it could somehow automate everything and just figure out when I was low on gas. If I have to input all these things every time I fill up, then what’s the point of me having an app to help me remember when the best time to fill my tank is!

Gas Manager

Pro: It provides the most comprehensive and useful data. The app can tell me exactly how much fuel my car will consume based on my odometer reading and the make and model.

Con: Even though this is by far the most helpful at telling me when I need to fill up, it still doesn’t automate the process, or even tell me when the nearest and cheapest gas station is coming up. I like how it tailors gas usage to my individual car, but since it has no way of knowing how I drive, the result is always pretty off.

In conclusion, all of the apps I reviewed have their merits (some more than others!) so it’s hard for me to pick a best one.  I think the perfect app would be one where I can not only know about my individual car (like Gas Manager), but know how my individual driving style affects my gas consumption. If this could then be added to the map-like features (like Gas Buddy and Gas Guru) then it would make for the perfect driving companion. The best application would be one that takes into consideration my whole driving history, including places where I frequent often, so as to be able to predict the nearest and cheapest gas that is along my route.

Tesla V. The New York Times

Tesla Motors, a pioneer in electric cars, has recently come under some serious fire from New York Times columnist John Broder. Approached by Tesla to do a review of the car, Broder documented his two-day road trip testing out Tesla’s Model S sedan from Washington to Boston making various stops in between. When his journey didn’t turn out as he expected, Broder posted his negative review on the New York Times, much to the dismay of Tesla Motors. (You can read the entire review here)

But companies get negative reviews all the time, so what’s so special about this story? Well Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk responded to Broder’s allegations by saying that Broder purposely misused the vehicle to ensure its failure. To prove it, he used data logs that came directly from the car. Now the problem becomes that this story, which has hit every major news outlet in the world, is nothing more than a giant game of he-said-she-said.

So how can we as consumers ensure that the reviews we get from media outlets are unbiased from both the manufacturers and the reviewer’s end? Drivewisely. Aside from saving money on gas and ensuring safety in driving, the powerful bit of technology has the potential to determine not just when but how a person drives. Take for examples the two images below:

Trip 1Trip 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In both these trips, Drivewisely was able to detect reckless driving, down to the very moment and place in which they did a dangerous action. As the maps indicate, the first driver had a problem with excessive speeding (as seen by the red segments) and the second had a variety of agressive maneuvers (as seen by the push pins).

For the Tesla and New York Times dispute, using a third party application like Driveiwsely could have put an end to the matter by impartially displaying exactly how Broder drove every step of the way. From reckless driving to purposefully long detours, Drivewisely could have prevented Broder from taking advantage of Tesla’s generous offer to test drive their $52,000 state of the art car.

Think your driving passes the test? Download the app and try it out here.

*Note: Some of the features are still in beta and our team of awesome developers is working hard to get you the greatest version of Drivewisely yet. In the mean time, enjoy our latest public release!*

QUIZ: Driver’s Ed, How Much Do You Remember?

Think you’ve got what it takes to pass driver’s ed all over again? Take our quiz and find out! Score above an 80% and we’ll give you a FREE pass to the Macworld/iWorld expo on January 31 – February 2, 2013 in Sunny San Francisco, where you’ll be able to check out the latest tech toys and gadgets from all across the world! All you have to do is take the test and announce in the section below what your awesome test score was. Ready? Set? Win!

Crazy Driving Mistakes as Explained by GIFs

At one point or another we’ve all made what can be ever so graciously called  “driving ooopsies”.  A lingering eye, a slow reflex, really any sort of minute driving distractions can lead to big and small driving mistakes. While said mistakes may not always lead to a crash, they can often temporarily cause you to have a mini-heart attack of sorts.

Sometimes it’s not even your fault.

To prepare you for whatever life throws at you, check out some of these scary (but absolutely hilarious) driving GIFs. We’ll even teach you what to do in those circumstances.

1. The Hard Brake

Hard brake

Maybe you just saw an “everything half-off today only!” special at IKEA, maybe you’re trying to wake up your snoring friend in the passenger seat. Whatever the reason, the above GIF shows us that braking hard can often lead to loss of control of your vehicle. Though our GIF friend was lucky, such stops are infrequent. To prevent your car from spinning out of control, or worse toppling over, gently press the brakes. Be sure to give yourself plenty of room between you and the car in front of you so you can avoid slammin the brakes.

2. The Sing-Along

Sing Along

There are certain songs that can be described as life long jams. The kind of music that regardless of your mood or what situation you may be in, you just can’t help but sing along with. (Read: TLC’s No Scrubs) When the situation does come up and you’re in a car, be sure that your jamming doesn’t get in the way of your driving. If you really want to enjoy the song and feel that it might take away from your driving abilities, pull over and resume driving once the song is over.

3. The Road Rage Monster

The agressive driver

So you might never encounter a giant monster with enough teeth to put Shark Week to shame. However, you might encounter a person who acts like a giant road rage filled monster with enough teeth to put Shark Week to shame. When that situation does arise, don’t stoop to their level and reciprocate. Even if their excessive honking and tailgating may make you angry, being equally filled with rage will get you nowhere. Let them pass you or get out of their way. Risking your safety is never worth getting back at an overly angry motorist.

4. The Reckless Roadster

check your blind spot

In this GIF we see the result of what happens when you don’t check your blind spot. Practice checking your blind spot even when you’re certain no one is behind you so that it becomes second nature when you’re trying to get over. If you get in the habit of checking you won’t have to risk putting yourself and other drivers in danger.

5. Belt-Less Bobby

seat eject

Realizing he’s dangerously close to hitting the motorist in front of him, the driver of this GIF decides to jump ship. Aside from the very obvious problem of walking out of your car mid-trip, this driver is also not wearing a seat belt. Knowing that this crash could mean the end of his life, he decides to jump out of his car instead of putting on the safety belt. Accidents do happen, and wearing your set belt can prevent you from crashing forward. Don’t be like belt-less Bobby here. Wear your seat belt at the beginning of the trip so you’re never put in this situation.

If you like this post and want to see more of our awesome content, find us on Facebook, Twitter, and download our amazing app, now available for the Android and iTunes marketplaces.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Drowsy Driving

According to a new, and very alarming, report released by the CDC, 1 in 24 adults have reported falling asleep or dosing off at the wheel. To put it into perspective, take a look at the picture below.

drowsy drivers

The cars with a big red X on them represent the 1 in 24 drivers who at any given moment could be studying the inside of their eyelids instead of watching the road. Scary stuff, right? Well it gets worse.

While the causes for drowsy driving are many, night shifts, lack of sleep, and medication just to name a few, the result is almost always the same – a crash.

Like driving drunk or texting while driving, drowsy driving is a completely preventable occurrence that can be avoided with just a little planning (but more on that later!).  Unlike DUIs and texting at the wheel, drowsy drivers are hard to spot and subsequently pose a unique challenge to officers trying to keep the roads safe.

Alternatives to drowsy driving include Robert Downey Jr.

Alternatives to drowsy driving include Robert Downey Jr. as a road buddy.

The key word here is: RESPONSIBILITY.  Though you may not be able to prevent others from getting behind the wheel without their beauty sleep, it doesn’t mean that you have to make the road unsafe for others too.

DO:

-       Get a minimum of 6 hours of sleep at night, especially if you’re planning a long drive.

-       Try to avoid driving between the hours of 2:00am and 5:00am. You’re more likely to be tired during those hours.

-       Trade off driving duties with other passengers in a car.

DON’T:

-       Drive long distances without taking a break. Especially when driving in the dark, be sure to stop for a 15-minute break at least once every two hours.

-       Drive with the heat turned all the way up as it can often make you feel sleepier.

-       Drive under the influence of medication. Always be sure that any medicine you may be taking, both over the counter and prescription, doesn’t have any side effects that may impair your driving abilities.

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