A CLEVER gadget could stop Brit drivers from being tempted into using their phone behind the wheel.
The digital assistant, “Chris”, lets motorists reply to text messages, make calls and adjust directions without ever touching a screen.
The world-first device has been dubbed the “automotive Alexa” as it works in a similar way to the digital assistant in Amazon’s Echo speaker, or the “Siri” assistant used in Apple devices.
Designed to stop drivers from touching their phones, Chris connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and uses voice and hand gesture recognition technology to follow the driver’s commands.
The assistant will read and reply to text and Whatsapp messages for you, make phone calls, play music, adjust your sat nav route to find the quickest path and even turn the radio on for you, all by listening to your voice.
Drivers can then adjust the volume or make selections by swiping their hand in front of the device, without the need to focus on the screen or press any buttons.
Created by Berlin-based startup, German Autolabs, Chris connects to a car’s dashboard or windscreen using a generic mount, and can be used with any car, regardless of make or model.
Due to be released in September in Berlin, the device will be available to UK customers from October for £299.
The manufacturer hopes the device will help reduce the number of drivers dangerously using their mobile phones behind the wheel.
A recent study found two-thirds of Brit motorists still didn’t know the penalty for using their phone while driving, despite it being increased over a year ago.
According to figures from the RAC, around 26 per cent of drivers admitted to regularly using their devices while on the road.
That means around 9.2million UK motorists regularly risk hefty fines for phone use.
Holger G. Weiss, CEO of German Autolabs, said: “In this age of digital dependency, despite the harsh penalties and safety risks they face, a significant number of drivers persist in using mobile phones when driving.
“Chris offers drivers a safe, legal, hands free alternative.Through the combination of voice, hand gestures and the display, it is easy to use and reliably does what you want it to do.
“Chris makes your drive smarter and safer by keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.”