Ford Motor Company has announced that owners of Ford and Lincoln vehicles will soon have the ability to safely use the Life360 app with Drive Mode, allowing them to safely stay in touch with friends and family members while driving.
The free Life360 smartphone app allows users to see where their circle of friends and family are on a private map, stay connected through both one-to-one or group messages, and get help in an emergency. And now that it will be integrated with Ford’s SYNC infotainment system and platform, it will give users the ability to access some of the functionality in a safe manner while driving.
Life360 has been modified to include Drive Mode for vehicles equipped with Ford SYNC AppLink. To use the app, all a driver or passenger needs to do is connect his or her smartphone to Ford SYNC via Bluetooth. The connection will tell the app when the smartphone is in the car, which then prompts the Drive Mode feature to send a prompt to users in the Life360 circle advising them not to text the driver; a follow-up message is sent once the driver arrives at his or her destination and turns off the car.
The driver can also ascertain the location of family members, either via the SYNC display or by using voice commands. For example, saying “Mom’s location” or asking “Where is Dave?” will spur the Life360-connected SYNC to pinpoint that person’s location on a map, including an address.
“Responsible driving habits are top priorities at Ford Motor Company, and we are pleased to be working with Life360 to help reduce driver distractions,” said Julius Marchwicki, Ford Connected Services Product manager. “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.”
Ford, which has become the first automaker to implement Life360, will demonstrate the implementation at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas January 6 thru January 9, 2015. Drive Mode will initially be available for Android phones by spring.
“We are thrilled to be working with Ford to take on such an important issue and help reduce texting and driving,” said Chris Hulls, co-founder and CEO of Life360. “Keeping families connected is one of our core tenets, and we’re proud our technology can also help play a key role in promoting distraction-free driving.” Since launching in 2008, the app claims to have 48 million active families.