Byravee Iyer
Jun 13, 2014

Case Study: How Samsung tackled safe driving with an app

SYDNEY - Samsung and Leo Burnett Sydney worked on an application to turn a distraction on the road to a life-saving tool

Samsung and Leo Burnett launched an application to turn a distraction on the road to a life-saving tool
Samsung and Leo Burnett launched an application to turn a distraction on the road to a life-saving tool


Despite years of government scare tactics, thousands of young Australians are still involved in car accidents every year due to speed, inexperience and driver distraction. One in three young Australian drivers crash within their first year of driving, and worse still, two die on Australian roads every week. All of these cost Australians an estimated 27 billion dollars annually.


Samsung wanted to make a difference to these statistics.


Samsung and Leo Burnett Sydney developed S-Drive, a safe driving program that uses Samsung’s strongest connection point to the young: the smartphone. The S-Drive app cuts out the phone’s signal so that drivers aren’t distracted while driving. It uses the phone’s GPS to track distance and speed to determine how safely the driver is driving. The more safe kilometers one drives, the  better the rewards.


S-Drive launched in February 2014 in Newcastle, NSW, a city with one of the worst youth accident rates in the country. A fully integrated campaign was developed to recruit drivers, directing people to to learn more about road safety and download the app.

The S-Drive app monitors driving behaviour, giving out points (that can be redeemed for rewards) for every safe kilometer travelled. A free S-Drive kit for every participant comes with a phone cradle that uses NFC technology to automatically launch the S-Drive app and Safe Driving Mode, allowing for hands free use only. Specially-programmed GPS Sat Nav software monitors driving, awarding points for staying below the limit and not touching the phone. Alerts also give up-to-date weather information, lane and traffic changes and road black spot warnings.

A social component has been key to changing driving behaviour. Through ‘Drive Team’ users of the application can appoint three friends -who make a pact to push each other to drive safer to earn special team-only rewards- on Facebook.

Points can be redeemed for three levels of rewards. Level One offers music and movie subscriptions just for signing up and staying active on the program. Level Two rewards include free Gloria Jeans coffee, Subway sandwiches, Caltex fuel vouchers, Event Cinema passes, JB Hi-Fi and Rebel Sport vouchers. Level Three rewards offer VIP prizes for you and your Drive Team including music festival passes, Wallabies rugby tickets and snowboarding trips to New Zealand with Olympian Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin.


There were 4,500+ active participants and 3,000,000+ safe kilometres travelled. Users claimed 25,000 rewards. Crashes in the S-Drive region were down 25 per cent, while fatalities reduced 20 per cent (17-25 years) compared to the previous year, the lowest death toll in the region since 1936. Program participation has climbed week-on-week. S-Drive is to be factory installed on all Samsung Galaxy phones and will roll out internationally. 



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