October 5, 2010 , Ann Arbor, Mich. - Car and Driver, the world's largest automotive enthusiast publication, today announced the launch of Txt U L8r, a free mobile application for handheld devices created to combat the dangers of texting while driving. Sponsored by the Chrysler brand and developed by iSpeech®, Txt U L8r automatically responds to text messages without forcing drivers to take their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel.

How Txt U L8r works:

  • When TXT U L8r is running on a driver's handheld device, the application sends a predetermined message back to the sender with an alert that the user is unavailable. 
  • At the same time, the received message is read aloud to the driver, ensuring he or she doesn't miss an urgent message. 
  • A paid upgrade of the application is available allowing the driver to respond back to messages with voice commands.

 

The development of Txt U L8r was prompted by a Car and Driver Texting While Driving Study that showed driver reaction times while texting were much worse compared to drunk driver reaction times. The study demonstrated the time it takes to hit the brakes when sober, when legally drunk, when reading an email and when sending a text.

Following are the results of the Car and Driver Texting While Driving study: 

  • When unimpaired, it took drivers an average of .54 seconds to brake. 
  • When legally drunk, it took an additional four feet to brake. 
  • When reading an email, it required an additional 36 feet to bring the car to a stop. 
  • When sending a text, another 70 feet was required to brake.

Based on the results of this study, Car and Driver representatives appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show in January 2010, as part of Oprah's widely popular "No Phone Zone" pledge, to discuss their findings and to demonstrate just how dangerous texting while driving truly is.

“Our experiment showed just how dangerous texting while driving can be,” said Eddie Alterman, editor-in-chief of Car and Driver. “The results of our research were precisely the reason we developed Txt U L8r in an effort to help drivers avoid car accidents often associated with distracted driving. Our goal is to make Txt U L8r part of a daily driving routine while helping save lives behind the wheel."

The problems of texting while driving, coupled with the results of the Car and Driver study, were the primary reasons why the Chrysler Brand chose to officially sponsor the Txt U L8r application.

Chrysler Group LLC was the first automaker to establish a corporate policy that prohibits its employees from texting while driving company-owned vehicles and texting with company-provided communication devices while driving personal vehicles. Chrysler has implemented this policy to promote safer driving behaviors and to serve as an industry example.

The company will take a further step by enabling its employees to download the Txt U L8r application to their company-owned communication devices.

The Chrysler Brand will also take action on its Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/Chrysler) to ask its community and owners to make the commitment of not texting while driving. With a simple click, fans can take the “I Drive Text-Free” pledge, as well as share it with their friends and family

“Chrysler brand vehicles are designed with available safety and security features that help to deliver your precious cargo safely from one destination to the next,” said Olivier Francois, President and CEO – Chrysler Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Together, let’s pledge to keep our eyes on the road and our hands on the wheel by promising not to text while driving.”

To download Txt U L8r:

Click on http://bit.ly/aRSgul from your Android.

Click on http://bit.ly/cVWTic or http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/12376 from your Blackberry.

Or search "Txt U L8r" in the Android Market or Blackberry Appworld to find and download the application to your handheld device.

Broadcast outlets, please note: A video news release and audio clips from this announcement will be available today, 10/6/10, at 1:00 PM EST at http://www.epk.tv/view/#/campaign/text-u-l8r/.

About Car and Driver
Car and Driver (http://www.caranddriver.com) is known for its expert editorial team consisting of credible journalists who are highly regarded by car enthusiasts and automotive manufacturers for their integrity and high standards. The magazine is published by Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. (www.hfmus.com) 12 times each year, boasting the largest audience of any monthly automotive magazine. The Car and Driver brand is a leading source of information for automotive enthusiasts and in-market car buyers. The brand also extends to many platforms, including websites, mobile sites, radio, iPhone/iPad apps, events, custom marketing programs and integrated marketing databases. Car and Driver is a part of the Jumpstart Automotive Group.

About Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 from a global strategic alliance with Fiat Group, produces Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck and Mopar® vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler’s culture of innovation – first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925 – and Fiat’s complementary technology – from a company whose heritage dates back to 1899.

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group LLC’s product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Wrangler and Ram Truck. Fiat will contribute world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-sized cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.

Follow Chrysler news and video on:
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/pentastarvideo  
Chrysler Connect blog: http://blog.chryslergroupllc.com  
Twitter: www.twitter.com/chrysler  
Streetfire: http://members.streetfire.net/profile/ChryslerVideo.htm 
Corporate Website: http://www.chryslergroupllc.com

About iSpeech, Inc.
iSpeech (http://www.iSpeech.org) is a leading provider of cloud-based speech technology and mobile apps. Founded in 2007, the company began as a vision to help college students learn by enabling them to listen to text-based study materials. Today, businesses, organizations and consumers worldwide choose iSpeech for its high quality, scalable and easy to use text-to-speech (TTS), automated speech recognition (ASR) and voice to text solutions. iSpeech’s flagship and award winning mobile app, DriveSafe.ly™, has read over a quarter billion text messages and emails aloud in real-time to over 6 million people. iSpeech® is a privately held company headquartered in Newark, NJ with offices in San Francisco and New York.