NEW YORK (PIX11) -- Whether you’re on a New York City street or the Garden State Parkway, everyday distractions could spell out disaster and recent headlines are proving just that.
It’s exactly why AT&T launched the ‘Connected Intersections Traffic Safety’ challenge, calling on tech gurus to develop solutions to improve traffic safety on New York City streets.
“We wanted to take this to an urban environment where you’re just not behind the wheel all the time, you’re on the street, you’re on a bicycle,” said Marissa Shorenstein, New York State President of AT&T. “Everyone is converging 24-7 and there seems to be danger everywhere you look.”
One clear and present danger is the average distracted texter and it's the reason why one of AT&T’s grand prize winners was “Tug” – an app that alerts pedestrians as they are about to enter an intersection.
Using Bluetooth technology, messages like this one warn anyone running the app to look and pay attention when approaching oncoming traffic.
“It’s not supposed to be something you trust completely or default to but instead something to aid you in dealing with your obsession with checking texts,” developer Emily Mcallister told PIX11 News.
Another app aiming to keep streets safer is the anti-sleep alarm app which detects the drowsiness of a driver via hand gestures or facial recognition.
If you get drowsy, it prompts you to wake up and pull over.
Other winners include an app that awards points to drivers who refrain from texting while driving, allowing the owner of the phone to redeem the points for products and services at partner companies. Another winning app detects whether you’re driving and sends an auto-reply text to incoming calls.
For more information on all the apps, visit AT&T’s website.