Using Gamification For Stimulating Safe And Good Driving Behavior


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Using Gamification For Stimulating Safe And Good Driving Behavior

  1. 1. USING GAMIFICATION FOR STIMULATING SAFE AND GOOD DRIVING BEHAVIOR Lucas Machado Keywords Gamification, Transportation, Traffic, Safe Driving 1. INTRODUCTION The gamification concept can be defined as using game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems [8]. Gamification is an increasing trend since 2011 [2] and has been successfully applied in several areas, such as marketing [9], education and training [1], health [5], and hotel systems [4]. Figure 1. Relative amount of Google searches with the term “gamification” through the recent years. Based in this increasing interest in gamification and its reported positive outcomes when applied to several activities, in this paper a gamification system to be used in cars and transit is proposed. This system would simulate safe driving behavior and if implemented, hopefully reduce accidents and fatalities in traffic as well as creating fun and joy while driving. Good behavior in driving is defined in this paper as any action or comportment while or related to driving that generates a benefit to the society or to the environment. Safe driving is a subset of Good behavior in driving, which is related to a benefit of enhanced physical security to people. 2. IDEA AND EVALUATION Cars and other vehicles could have different sensors to track their usage and performance. There are sensors to track their position (GPS), the distance between other vehicles (proximity sensor), the acceleration curve and speed, the fuel consumption and amount, the generated pollution, maintenance of the parts, and if seatbelts are locked (on-board computer). Given some time to adaptation, all these sensors could be progressively implanted in every car of a community or country. With specific software and a communications system through cellphone networks, it is possible to build an on-board system in which the driver could log in the vehicle with his driver license as credentials, and data gathered from sensors would be sent to the servers of a central traffic authority and linked to the driver. These central servers would process the data and return information and feedback to the driver’s smartphone or to a display installed in the vehicle. 2.1 Driving behaviors There are plenty of bad driving behaviors that endanger pedestrians and people in vehicles, harm the environment or generate problems for the society. With the use of sensors such the ones previously cited, several of these bad behaviors could be identified and measured. The system could identify, for example, if the distance maintained between the vehicles ahead is enough to be safe in the case of a brutal braking (proximity sensor and speedometer), if the speed is below the current limit (GPS, speedometer and a database of roads), if the vehicle is in the wrong lane (GPS, compass and a database of roads), if it does overtaking correctly (proximity sensors, acceleration and steering), if it stops for red traffic lights and pedestrians (camera, proximity sensor, GPS, speed), and even the amount of people and weight in a vehicle (presence and weight sensors). Sensors could also measure the amount of generated pollution (patterns of acceleration and engine power), type of fuel, excessive use of heater and air conditioning, and average of people transported per distance as factors that affect the environment. Another good behavior that could emerge from having integrated information about all the traffic is driving in less congested routes to help the community and society by evading traffic jams. For the purposes of this paper, the accomplishment of these behaviors could be divided between compulsory (required by law, such as stopping for red traffic lights) and voluntary (that are good for the society, the environment, or provide additional security, such as driving in a less congested route). 2.2 Rewards With the driving behavior being tracked in several ways as presented, the driver would have a score that is affected by gaining points if he accomplish voluntary good behavior, and losing points if he faults in the compulsory behavior. With good scores, the driver is ranked in a national system and can reach levels. Depending on these levels, there could be corresponding levels of discounts in the national car taxes, stimulating drivers directly through financial reward.
  2. 2. Drivers could also receive badges for accumulated good or bad behavior, stimulating specific goals that are major problems in traffic. These badges could be used to also obtain discounts in services and products as fuel, car maintenance and insurances (a good driver pays less). 2.3 Evaluation Based on The 4 Keys to Fun [7], a playful experience that contains at least three of the four keys to fun (Hard fun, Easy fun, Serious Fun and People Fun) is a deeply enjoyable game for a wide market. Each one of these keys is a reason people play games and is a mechanism for emotions. By analyzing the proposed system, it accomplishes the Serious Fun very well by being strongly based in self-improvement, creating value outside the game and having learning and training aspects. Besides that, the People fun key is vey well covered with social interaction and collaborative activities when thinking that every action is influential in the real world and in other people directly or indirectly. There are also aspects of Hard fun in a minor scale, such as scores and self-challenging goals of being a good driver and get rewards. With theses factors present, driving could be more than just transportation, but also have the meaning of contributing to the society, to the environment, and being rewarded and recognized as a good driver by accomplishing actions and behaviors Although user and play experience changes from person to person and from each interaction, using the PLEX categories [6] for playful experiences, the most significant experiences that are expected to emerge due to the system mechanics and previously mentioned feelings are Submission (being part of a larger system, structure or community), Fellowship (social interaction and building a better collective behavior), Nurture (taking care of others and oneself) and Completion (contest with oneself and the system). 2.4 Other purposes The system could also be used to enforce traffic legislation, by detecting if vehicles are being driven without license, as well as tracking stolen cars, generating statistics of accidents and driving habits, generating a real-time transit map in an area, helping in locating people and calling emergency automatically in accidents, and applying fines. Besides all of that, there are innumerous other possibilities of use for an implanted system like this. Probably several of them could also interact and improve the good behavior system with the years. 3. CONCLUSION Gamification is still a new topic that has plenty of opportunities to be applied on. Traffic is yet an unexplored one, with big potential to generate innovative and social outcomes. All the physical elements (hardware) needed to implement this proposal are already available commercially. There are also no significant obstacles such as new complex algorithms in software development. Therefore, putting this system in use is merely dependent on investment in adapting current vehicles and integrating and processing data in a community level. However, there could be privacy concerns with location data that is constantly being generated and sent from users. This issue should deserve attention in further discussions about this system; especially as to be successful it requires large-scale adoption that would be ensured by laws or regulations for all the drivers. Finally, this system proposal fits perfectly with the gamification definition of [3]: “a process of enhancing a service with affordances for gameful experiences in order to support user's overall value creation”. In this case, driving is being enhanced with gameful experiences to support the creation of better driving related behavior value. 4. REFERENCES [1] Corbett, Sara. 2010. Learning by Playing: Video Games in the Classroom. The New York Times. Available at t.html. [2] Google. 2014. Google Trends – Web search interest: gamification – Worldwide, 2004 – present. Available at [3] Huotari, K., & Hamari, J. (2012). "Defining Gamification - A Service Marketing Perspective". Proceedings of the 16th International Academic MindTrek Conference 2012, Tampere, Finland, October 3–5. [4] Hurley, Ben. 2013. Everyone loves winning: how Rydges used gamification to double sales. Business Review Weekly. Available at inning_how_rydges_ky3lAs92n4NvdxAZqNLGuI. [5] Jeffries, Adrianne. 2011. The Fitocrats: How Two Nerds Turned an Addiction to Videogames Into an Addiction to Fitness. The New York Observer. Available at scenes-at-fitocracy-the-addictive-fitness-game-that-will- make-you-want-to-work-out/ [6] Juha Arrasvuori, Marion Boberg, Jussi Holopainen, Hannu Korhonen, Andrés Lucero, and Markus Montola. 2011. Applying the PLEX framework in designing for playfulness. In Proceedings of the 2011 Conference on Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces (DPPI '11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 24 , 8 pages. DOI=10.1145/2347504.2347531 [7] Lazzaro, N. 2008. The Four Fun Keys. Available at: [8] Sebastian Deterding, Dan Dixon, Rilla Khaled, and Lennart Nacke. 2011. From game design elements to gamefulness: defining "gamification". In Proceedings of the 15th International Academic MindTrek Conference: Envisioning Future Media Environments (MindTrek '11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 9-15. DOI=10.1145/2181037.2181040 [9] Van Grove, Jennifer. 2011. Gamification: How Competition Is Reinventing Business, Marketing & Everyday Life. Available at