The tiwi sounds like practically the perfect solution for teen drivers. The little on-board computer monitors predefined “dangerous” behaviors and notifies both the driver and the parents of this activity. Originally developed for fleet drivers, the tiwi is now being marketed to parents of teen drivers. Is this little computer worth the cost and effort?
How tiwi works
The tiwi unit is a small on-board computer that connects to the diagnostic port on most cars. The computer analyzes speed, seatbelt use, zealous acceleration and other “dangerous” driving behaviors. That information is combined with GPS coordinates on the unit to create a full picture of the driver’s actions. After certain pre-set activities, the unit vocally reminds the driver of the mistake, and sends a notification to a pre-set phone, e-mail or sms system.
The benefits of the tiwi
The tiwi device can be incredibly useful. For teen drivers, who usually have 50 hours or less of driving experience, it can help reduce accidents. The ability to track the position and activities of a vehicle can also be very useful for parents. In fleet-driving situations, managers and bosses will be able to keep an eye on the activity and behavior of their employees. In short, the tiwi helps one person keep track of another — and provides reinforcement of good driving behavior.
The drawbacks of tiwi
The tiwi system is, much like many other tracking systems, intended for very helpful purposes. It raises questions of protection of privacy and safety, however. Because tiwi connects directly to cell-phone networks and the computer’s diagnostic port, there is a potential for vulnerability to hacking. There is also a “big brother” aspect of every movement of a vehicle being tracked. For employees driving company vehicles, this may not be as big of an issue – but for a 17- or 18-year-old driver, it could be slightly more sticky. In the end, the tiwi may be useful, but it is worth carefully considering whether the $200 initial price and $40 per month subscription fee is worth it for your family.