Driving under the influence of alcohol is a major violation. So is distracted driving. These are hazards that can harm both the driver and unsuspecting civilians. The former in particular is increasingly becoming a problem as more people use smartphones while driving.
Samsung Takes On Distracted Driving With In-Traffic Reply
To prevent distracted driving, Samsung has created a new app called In-Traffic Reply that aims to help drivers reply to messages as they keep their eyes on the road. The app is designed to automatically send preset replies when the sender is in motion.
In-Traffic Reply looks at GPS data to determine whether the user is driving or not. It will send different types of preset messages, depending on how users set it to behave. There's the generic "I'm driving, so I cannot answer at the moment," a custom message, or a "fun, animated response," Samsung explains.
In-Traffic Reply targets one of the root causes of distracted driving: feeling pressured to respond to texts or calls. With the app, you can send a signal that you shouldn't be bugged or disturbed.
Samsung hasn't detailed how the app will work exactly — does it turn on automatically when you get in the car? What if you're a passenger? — but presumably, the feature can be turned off with a simple tap, as seen on the app's screenshots.
In-Traffic Reply Release Date
The app is currently in beta, but the final version is set to hit the Play Store mid-May. There's still no word whether Samsung has plans to release it for iOS devices, so it looks like Android users will benefit from In-Traffic Reply first. Hopefully Samsung also pushes it to iPhone users, because distracted driving is a problem, no matter what the phone.
Phone manufacturers have long been pressured to create an app like In-Traffic Reply amid increasing panic over distracted driving. It seems Samsung has jumped the gun in this regard, offering a simple but potentially effective solution to the problem.
In-Traffic Reply, for the record, was developed by Samsung Netherlands, and was originally planned to soft-launch in the country. But because many people became interested with it, Samsung has apparently decided to roll it out globally.
In-Traffic Reply will work with a number of services, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and more, which makes it significantly more useful, as it won't be relegated to just texts and phone calls.
While Samsung will release it on the Play Store, it's not clear whether In-Traffic Reply will be exclusive to Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus devices, since the screenshots only feature the company's current flagship. Hopefully the opposite ends up being true.
Regardless of whether Samsung makes the app available to everybody or not, distracted driving should still be avoided at all costs. If you really need to answer to a text, halt the car if possible, or use your smartphone's voice-recognition feature.
We'll let you know when Samsung finally releases In-Traffic Reply.
Thoughts about Samsung's upcoming In-Traffic Reply app? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!