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License+ App Improves Teen Driving Habits via Scoring System

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License+ App Improves Teen Driving Habits Driver Car

Parents wish they knew every move their child makes in the car
Photo:State Farm via CC

If you, as a parent, think teaching your child to drive so they can pass their driver’s test will make them a good driver, you’re missing the point. Good driving doesn’t just come from passing one test involving orange cones; it takes months or even years of practicing good habits.

Therefore, the first formative years of driving, when habits become second nature, are both important and dangerous. After all, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association contends that drivers are most likely to get in a fatal accident during their first six months of driving than any other time.

You probably want to sit in your child’s car and monitor his or her every move. But you can’t–because the very reason kids ache to get their licences so badly is to get away from you!

That’s where California-based Automatic, a company specializing in smartphone-based car diagnostics, comes in. Their new License+ app can give six months of digital evaluation.

Automatic’s License+ App Monitors Your Teen’s Driving and Scores It

The majority of accidents caused by teens are due to simple errors that haven’t yet become good habits. In order to promote best practices in the car, new drivers need to improve constantly, and parents can help in an innovative way.

Those with the Automatic app (and its $100 two-inch Link dongle that plugs into the onboard diagnostics port) can get a free upgrade for License+ software. The new program offers a 100-hour training program on the road that results in numerical scores. Obviously, bad habits result in low scores and good habits result in high scores (as well as reward badges).

License+ App Improves Teen Driving Habits Texa OBD Dongle

In case you’re laughing at the word “dongle,” here is an example of one you can plug into your car. Now keep laughing.

Because the License+ app can’t rate for things like checking blind spots, it focuses primarily on acceleration and braking. This driving data is sent via web interface to the smartphone of an adult/parent who can coach the young driver when needed. The Dongle can even emit warning tones to alert teens of bad driving, giving real-time feedback for immediate correction.

“We want to get from licensed driving to good driving,” says Automatic senior director and License+ app lead Steve Bishop. “We can help close that gap.”

While this License+ scoring system may sound like an unwanted nuisance to young drivers, it’s a whole lot better than hearing your mother correct your every move!