GPS navigation app switches to child voice near a school

Via Richard Thaler, and from a Swedish insurer, this great nudge idea. When you’re driving in areas frequented by children like schools, daycare centers, etc. the voice on your GPS navigation app switches automatically to children voices. The video below describes the effect and the thinking behind this project.

This GPS navigation voice switched to kid’s voice feature is a perfect example of a great nudge, creating huge value for all parties involved, and a very low cost for the creator and no cost for everyone else. Kudos and let’s hope this gets integrated in more navigation apps. Full details here (in Swedish).

However a small-scale sample is more necessary than ever in that case, before rolling this out widely. In that case, I would test it in both a small country town and one neighbourhood of a bigger city with a small set of drivers and look especially closely for unintended side effects like:

  • more accidents because people are startled and surprised (doubtful but you never know before testing)
  • no efficiency because some people resent the nudge and do not slow down or even go faster
  • etc.

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