Ford has partnered with Life360, a popular family locator app, to help motorists keep their eyes glued to the road while driving.
On Dec. 30, Ford revealed that it would offer the app for use in its cars. By doing so, it becomes the first automobile maker to offer Life360 with Drive Mode.
Launched in 2008, Life360 is a free smartphone app that lets motorists drive in a focused manner as the app alerts friends and family not to text the user as he or she is driving. The app has been reworked to integrate the Drive Mode for Ford vehicles that are SYNC AppLink-enabled.
"With the integration of Life360 Drive Mode, we are helping to keep drivers' attention on the road by letting their loved ones know that they are behind the wheel, encouraging family members and friends to hold off on sending texts," said Julius Marchwicki, product manager for Ford Connected Services.
With over 48 million users, Life360 app works when a motorist connects their smartphone to Ford SYNC AppLink via Bluetooth. Once a connection is established, the app knows that the smartphone is in the vehicle, which in turn springs the Drive Mode into action. This feature sends a message to all the people on the motorist's Life360 circle that they avoid texting them.
Once the motorist reaches the destination and switches off the car, the user's circle receives another notification about the arrival.
Users also have the option of checking the location of a family member via the SYNC display. If voice commands are more your thing, then you can seek out loved ones in your circle by saying, "Dad's location" or asking "Where is Anne?" for example.
If the person has given permission for accessing their position, then their location will be pointed on a map along with the address.
The new service will be demoed by Life360 and Ford at the upcoming 2015 International CES, which will be held in Las Vegas from Jan. 6 to Jan. 9.
The Drive Mode is expected to be made available for Android Phones only initially by spring. Ford is also teaming up with AccuWeather to integrate a weather app.