‘TIWI' helping remind teenagers to drive safer


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A new computerized monitor for teenage drivers audibly tells them when they're driving too fast or taking other risky chances behind the wheel.

We're all guilty now and then of speeding, taking corners too fast and not wearing our seat belts. But teen drivers tend to do it more.

Enter a robot, if you will! While it's not sitting next to Megan Raby, it's here in her car in the form of a computerized box that sees all she does. "Seat belt violation. Buckle your seat belt as soon as possible," the computer warns.

‘TIWI' helping remind teenagers to drive safer

No matter where Megan drives with the TIWI system, which works in partnership with global positioning satellites, it knows exactly what the speed limit is for the street or neighborhood and reacts accordingly.

Parents at home can follow their son or daughter in real time. They can receive text messages, for example, when their child arrives at school.

There are other devices like this, but Utah-based INTHINC has taken this one a step further by making it audibly let drivers know if they're pushing the envelope.

‘TIWI' helping remind teenagers to drive safer

Tod Follmer, CEO of INTHINC, agreed to step in and help save the company because of a tragic experience involving his son's girlfriend.

"She was going too fast, he was going too fast. She lost control of her car, hit a tree and died. And I got the call to come save this company, and that's really where the TIWI has come from," he said.

Now the voice is always there, but it's only activated if the driver does something wrong. But is it too much like a backseat driver?

"That always comes up as ‘Big Brother,' but what we know from the medical community is that your brain just isn't fully developed until 25 years old, and you're put behind the car at 16 years old," Follmer said.

"I don't know if I want it in my car, but it's a good thing. I'd probably drive better if I had it," Megan said.

It's not just teen drivers. Partnering with the big three auto makers and OnStar, TIWI, or other devices like it, could end up as standard equipment in all cars for all drivers.

E-mail: eyeates@ksl.com

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