SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Esmeralda Swartz, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Glenn Rossman, Pat Romanski

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The Smart Dash: The Surge to Market. A Mission of Safety. No More Excuses.

Voice-Controlled, Hands-Free, Destroyer of the Driving-While-Texting Scourge.

BRADENTON, Fla., July 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As the carnage continues, the American public screams for change, and the government, cops and U.S. realpolitik do next to nothing. Americans young and old are dying horrific, unnecessary deaths – mostly the young, they're still as clueless, ambitious and boundless as ever – at the guillotine of technology and a smart phone-obsessed society, one that's been created, bought and sold right here in the good 'ole U.S. of A.

"Yes, we are in essence killing our own children, when we give them all these fun little phone toys to grow up with, then hand them the keys to a two-ton vehicle, and tell them to 'Don't Text-and-Drive,' " said Chris Tunmore, co-founder of The Smart Dash, a Florida-based startup set to take flight this summer. Dead in its sights: the texting-and-driving scourge plaguing America.

"Things have to change. Immediately. Texting-and-driving has now become one of the most important issues of safety, in our everyday lives, all across the U.S., and is the very reason for The Smart Dash," Tunmore said.

Enter The Smart Dash (www.thesmartdash.com), created and designed in Florida by Tunmore and his colleagues, a team of British/American engineers, targeting a retrofit of the mammoth U.S. used-car market, estimated at between 200 million to 250 million vehicles. The target: any, and every, used vehicle in America not currently equipped with the latest voice-activated technology.

The Smart Dash is an online, portable, dash-mounted and safety-first solution being developed by a seasoned team including co-founders Tunmore, Andrew Britt, a mechanical engineer, and Roger Pellew, a business development professional. The co-founders of The Smart Dash represent a wide spectrum of business interests, experience and knowledge.

Together, the partners are established entrepreneurs with a proven track record, having provided a leading chain of national retailers' ink cartridge recycling solutions. Individually, they have each developed a number of successful businesses, including one of the nation's premier plastic manufacturing companies.

The Tech: Android and iOS

The Smart Dash will be available to both Apple and Android smart phone users. The system coordinates smart phones and vehicle features into a single-screen Android tablet display of applications, mounted on the vehicle dashboard. The Smart Dash delivers a comprehensive range of voice-activated applications, while providing a safer eye-level information display.

Features include Voice-Activated Phone Calls, Voice Messaging, Text Messaging, Enhanced GPS Navigation, a Media Player, Engine Health Monitoring, Accident Assistance, a Driver Behavior Log along with many other standard features. The windshield or dashboard-mounted telescopic arm allows for quick and easy portable tablet installation and removal, with a power source provided by a standard DC connection.

"This twisted text-me-now ecosystem – this smart phone obsession, and the 24/7 web world that feeds into it – is now taking our children's very lives. There can be no more excuses," Tunmore said.

Tunmore designed The Smart Dash (www.thesmartdash.com) with an engineer's precision, an entrepreneur's vision, and a father's heart: A serial offender, he realized the hypocrisy of lecturing his teenager over texting-and-driving.

The Smart Dash carries an array of potential other uses, including the transport industry and for fleet vehicles. The ginormous gap of technology between the U.S. used-vehicle market and what new vehicle manufacturers are putting out "presents an enormous opportunity for us as entrepreneurs, as parents, and as a business," Tunmore said. "But which comes first? In the eyes of The Smart Dash, it's people. It's a conscious decision made by people."

First Partner: T-Mobile USA Inc.

The Smart Dash is a start-up, but its co-founders and partners are most certainly not, as evidenced by the first corporate partner to step up, T-Mobile USA Inc., one of the fastest-growing carriers in the U.S. Based in Washington state, T-Mobile is distinguished by its policy of not charging for data overage.

T-Mobile USA will be providing a pre-loaded data package. A Kickstarter campaign is poised to finance the final steps of software development and product manufacturing, slated to begin in accordance with the launch of a national media and PR campaign. Tunmore is scheduled to appear live on The FOX Business Network (FBN) today at 2 p.m. EST on the "Money with Melissa Francis" program to announce The Smart Dash Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thesmartdash/2092724330?token=8cf5c8d4

Says Fred Hifko Jr. of T-Mobile USA Inc.: "What we see in The Smart Dash, is something we've been seeking for quite some time, which is: a solution to stop the carnage. We look forward to a very exciting launch of The Smart Dash, and the ability of T-Mobile to continue to engage in the conversation of all things safety-minded."

Production of The Smart Dash is pegged for early 2015, with all manufacturing to take place in America: each system will come with The Smart Dash app, an interface, universal mount, power cable and adaptor. The pricetag for the proprietary system and app starts at a Kickstarter-early contributor discount of $195, retailing for $260. Tiered level of packages include a 7-inch Android tablet for $425, $395 early contributor on Kickstarter. The rear-cam feature sells separately for $100.

The Urgency: No More Excuses

Every day, the stories, and the statistics, pour in: There's a texting-and-driving incident every 75 seconds in America; drivers are between three to 23X as distracted while texting; there are 3,000+ accidents every year logged by the Ohio State Highway Patrol as "driver-distracted."

No segment of society, including law enforcement is immune: An L.A. County Sheriff's deputy drills a bicyclist in Calabasis, while texting. The Mayor of Oakland, California, gets busted twice.

At offices south of Tampa, The Smart Dash is poised to take flight, armed with a voice-activated suite of safety and security. The partners are engineers, and entrepreneurs. But fathers first. "The clock is ticking. She's already driving. And I'm still texting-and-driving," Tunmore says of his 17-year-old daughter.

"We are businessmen, with a product, yes; but with a greater mission: there's a better way. And people – our family members, our neighbors, our friends – don't have to die like this," Britt said.

Contacts:

Mr. Chris Tunmore

Mr. Andrew Britt     

Mr. Roger Pellew

Co-Founder, The Smart Dash 

Co-Founder, The Smart Dash 

Co-Founder, The Smart Dash

2331 63rd Avenue East     

2331 63rd Avenue East     

2331 63rd Avenue East

Bradenton, FL 34203    

Bradenton, FL 34203     

Bradenton, FL 34202

(585) 489-0553     

(941) 302-6041      

(407) 873-3789

[email protected]   

[email protected]    

[email protected]

SOURCE The Smart Dash

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