CRASH SAVVY

The un­fair re­sult of two crash in­ci­dents prompted en­tre­pre­neur Gareth Po­ley to pro­duce in-car sur­veil­lance sys­tems

Idealog - - Contents - – HAZEL PHILLIPS

Gareth Po­ley’s mo­ment of en­tre­pre­neur­ial in­spi­ra­tion came af­ter he found him­self the mid­dle car in a three-car pile-up. He’d stopped in time, but the force of the car hit­ting the back of his caused his car to smash into the sta­tion­ary one in front of him.

His car was writ­ten off and Po­ley had no way to prove that he’d stopped in time – and that the car be­hind him was in fact at fault.

He was stuck with not only be­ing car­less but also hav­ing to foot the re­pair bill for the car in front of him.

“At the time, I looked for ways that could help me in a sit­u­a­tion like this,” Po­ley says. “But there was noth­ing avail­able then.”

Life went on and a few years later some­one drove into his parked car in a hit-and-run in­ci­dent. With no way of prov­ing who did it, he had to foot another bill for the “hefty” insurance ex­cess.

“It was at this point that I started talk­ing to friends about what we can do to help in sit­u­a­tions such as this,” Po­ley says. “We scoured the in­ter­net and in­ter­viewed peo­ple around the globe and found the tech­nol­ogy that we wanted not only for our­selves but to make avail­able for New Zealan­ders, too.”

Po­ley, a cre­ative di­rec­tor, en­tre­pre­neur and self-con­fessed technophile, had al­ways had a keen in­ter­est in cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy and its abil­ity to solve ev­ery­day prob­lems.

Along with three oth­ers, he founded Mo­torEyes, an in-car drive recorder that’s now helped him cap­ture sev­eral near-misses.

The busi­ness, built on in-ve­hi­cle cam­era tech­nol­ogy, aims to help en­cour­age safer driv­ing by record­ing video and au­dio footage, and also speed and lo­ca­tion in some mod­els.

It’s also use­ful for wor­ried par­ents want­ing to make sure their newly li­censed teenager plays by the rules.

Po­ley points to re­search that shows car crashes are the sin­gle lead­ing cause of death for teenagers aged 15-19 in New Zealand and that trav­el­ing too fast for road con­di­tions was the most com­mon con­tribut­ing fac­tor.

“We be­lieve hav­ing a Mo­torEyes de­vice in­stalled has made us safer on the road. Know­ing that a dig­i­tal record of your jour­ney ex­ists helps fo­cus at­ten­tion on per­sonal driv­ing stan­dards and dis­cour­ages reck­less or hap­haz­ard driv­ing. The same think­ing should ap­ply for teens, too.

“In fact, there is sig­nif­i­cant ev­i­dence from over­seas that in-ve­hi­cle cam­eras en­cour­age safer driv­ing, so much so that insurance

‘A ma­jor driv­ing force for our busi­ness is to be part of the so­lu­tion dis­cour­ag­ing dan­ger­ous driv­ing on New Zealand roads and help to re­duce the fatal crash rate as a re­sult. We be­lieve hav­ing it in­stalled has made us safer on the road’

com­pa­nies over­seas are of­fer­ing dis­counted premi­ums to young driv­ers if they have the tech­nol­ogy in­stalled.

“And hav­ing such tech­nol­ogy in­stalled in teens’ cars will give par­ents the abil­ity to re­view footage and dis­cuss driv­ing be­hav­iours in need of cor­rec­tion with their kids.”

Po­ley runs a YouTube chan­nel ( youtube.com/ user/Mo­torEyesNZ) where he loads in­ci­dents that have been recorded. One shows a child nearly be­ing run over on a pedes­trian cross­ing in Re­muera, mak­ing for chill­ing view­ing.

“We be­lieve that the more peo­ple that have them in­stalled, and the more peo­ple be­come aware of this sur­veil­lance, the more chance they will likely be to re­think their de­ci­sions to drive poorly.”

And while Po­ley wants Mo­torEyes to be fi­nan­cially suc­cess­ful, he’d like to see along­side that New Zealand’s roads be­com­ing safer.

“A ma­jor driv­ing force for our busi­ness is to be a part of the so­lu­tion dis­cour­ag­ing dan­ger­ous driv­ing on New Zealand roads and help to re­duce the fatal crash rate as a re­sult.” www.mo­toreyes.co.nz @Mo­torEyesNZ

Gareth Po­ley hopes Mo­torEyes will en­cour­age safer driv­ing.

Po­ley founded Mo­torEyes along with three oth­ers af­ter scour­ing the in­ter­net and in­ter­view­ing peo­ple who also wanted sim­i­lar tech­nol­ogy for them­selves.

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