Photo - Sulin Lau, Maxis' Head of Marketing Services (4th from right), together with the kids who 'donated' their voices for Maxis' Safe Mode Kids, at the launch event.
Malaysian telecom Maxis said it has introduced the world's first 'kid-sourced' navigation, which is available to more than 50 million users around the world of community-driven navigation and traffic app Waze.
Sulin Lau, head of marketing for Maxis, said the collaboration with Waze was prompted by a recent survey finding that 97 percent of Malaysian parents said they drive more safely when children are in the car. Under the Safe Mode Kids project "kid-sourced" voices of Malaysian children aged 3 to 12 were used as Waze directional prompts for special voice pack,
Lau said that instead of the standard Waze navigation prompts you will hear: 'All set. Don't forget your seatbelt', 'Re-routing. Eyes on the Road!' and "Accident reported ahead. Please be careful, ok?"
"Let's face it - parents DO drive safer when kids are in the car," she added. "So we worked with Waze to put kids in as many Malaysian cars as possible. With the festive season approaching and knowing that Malaysia ranks 17th in the world for 'most dangerous roads', we thought Safe Mode Kids could be a charming and effective way to remind our fellow Malaysians to drive safer. The latest news is that Maxis' Safe Mode Kids will now be a global pack available to tens of millions of Waze users around the world."
"In the end, this would not be possible without the kids who generously donated their voices. They are the real stars here, and we would like to thank them and their parents for helping us launch this amazing product," said Lau.
Waze's head of APAC, Eleanne Hattis, said, "Safety is the utmost mission for any new feature or campaign Waze develops as we work together with citizens to improve their time in the car. We're proud to work with Maxis on this project, amplifying a common goal to use mobile technology to promote safer roadways. People generally drive safer with children in the car, and we believe this is an attention-grabbing feature that will assist in spreading the cause."
The launch of Safe Mode Kids is also timely in view of the festive season in Malaysia, which makes up the busiest travel periods of the year.
The 'kid-sourcing' phase started with 100 parents who volunteered their kids. A total of 60 children then auditioned and were given lines to record. 20 voices were finally selected for the voice pack. The voice pack can be downloaded from within Waze, by going to Settings, Sound, Voice Language and selecting "English (US) - Safe Mode with Kids" (powered by Maxis).
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