Car Industry

This Japanese app rewards drivers with coffee for not picking up the phone

Bribing people into driving safely? Sounds like my kind of app.

This would go over really well in America, because we love us some good ol'-fashioned bribery.

Driving Barista

The biggest benefit of not using the phone while driving is, well, not dying in a crash. But in case that isn't enough, a Japanese app called Driving Barista will hook you up with a free cup of joe for keeping the phone down.

Driving Barista is a collaboration among Toyota, Komeda Co Ltd and KDDI Corporation. Your phone's gyro sensor will let the app know if the phone's been picked up while the car is in motion. If the GPS registers 100 kilometers (62 miles) of distraction-free driving, it rewards the driver with a coupon for a free cup of blended or iced coffee at Komeda's coffee shops.

The punishment for distracted driving is a total loss of miles accrued. If you're at 99 km and you pick the phone up, it resets back to zero. While there's no larger benefit for driving longer distances, you'll keep racking up free cups of coffee. With a long commute, your crippling caffeine addiction could be all but paid for each week.

Of course, there's a catch -- it can only be used within Japan's Aichi prefecture at the moment, so it's not a countrywide offering. However, it is available for both iOS and Android in the event you want to download the app and see what it's all about.