About Toyota FaceItDown
The Toyota FaceItDown app is a revolutionary app aimed at saving drivers lives on Irish roads. The app is an iOS and Android app that rewards drivers for not looking at their phone while driving.
Toyota’s brand promise is ‘built for a better world’, and the app is a physical realisation of this. It’s aim is to make Irish roads safer for everyone. Drivers can collect reward points and use them towards a cup of coffee at Circle K garages nationwide or against their car insurance with FDB Insurance.
The Toyota FaceItDown app was originally designed by advertising agency, Radical, who brought the app to us after they ran into some difficulties with a previous developer.
The app was designed for Toyota in partnership with the Road Safety Authority, FBD Insurance and Circle K. It’s available to all drivers, not just Toyota owners. Toyota are the main innovators behind the app and want to reward drivers for putting their phone face down when driving. Drivers can redeem the points they earned for their journey in the form of a €50 reduction on their car insurance with FBD Insurance or a complimentary hot drink at Circle K stores nationwide.
The design of the app focuses on the points earned for each journey travelled with their phone faced down. It shows a list of the available rewards and saved rewards. It also shows a history of each journey undertaken and the points earned for each journey.
The Toyota FaceItDown app started off as a cross platform app using React Native. React Native presented some challenges with development that we needed to work around. One of the key issues was sensor and location data. The app uses a number of different physical sensors to determine if the device is facing up or down. It then rewards the user with points for each kilometre completed without interacting with their phone.
This was a challenge for pure React Native. It meant we had to implement some native code on both Android and iOS to fulfil these requirements.
Also, both Android and iOS maintain individual style guidelines. Android’s material design is largely based on the physical world, with views having elevations and cast shadows. The iOS human interface guidelines lean towards flat design. Both give each platform a distinct but familiar user experience. Although the user interface code is shared, we used native code for platform specific styling.
The system has a server side element that we brought in-house. The FaceItDown API is a service that processes requests sent by the mobile applications and the administration dashboard. It is a Node.js service that uses RethinkDB for data storage and retrieval. The administration is a React web app.
The app has had over 50k downloads in a 12 month period, with over nine million distraction free journeys carried out so far.