In recent weeks I've wondered if some people would value a pay-to-view part of my site. I’d provide crisper, shorter material for “offline use” or accelerated learning.
So below is how it's shaping up. I can put any sort of material you want up there: audio files for listening to while you drop off to sleep; punchy videos; jingles; memorable graphics to embed routines for specific driving situations.
Do let me know what you think. Price will be under £1 (and not time-limited), maybe paid by PayPal.
Now, I’ve got nothing against these devices. But many people have. Why would I not want a gadget discouraging road users from driving unsafely? They’ll help keep others from crashing into me, maiming of killing me and my family or friends.
Perhaps they don’t like someone critiquing how they drive. An invasion of privacy. Like an uninvited passenger telling you when to change gear.
But it doesn’t tell. And it’s very crude in what it records. And if you want an insurer to take a risk on you (and, along with betting shops and casinos) that’s precisely their business), they have a particular desire to know how safe you are.
If you don’t want their machine in your car, telling them that, you’re an unknown quantity to them so they’ll have to charge you more.
Exactly like when driving, if you can’t see if there’s a risk, you must assume it’s risky ... otherwise the hazard will sometimes “win”, with you crashing. You might then be unable to keep going or make other journeys you’d like to.
Same as the insurance company needing to always “win” by getting more money in than it pays out, so it’s there to provide for the next person who needs insurance.
So, tell me, why do people feel it’s right to display a sticker at the back of their car, apologising for driving slowly because they've got a black box?
Any following driver who expects different is complicit in forcing them to drive illegally.
Well, Peugeot's e-208 has finally "landed" in the showrooms. It certainly sings and dances. But, as yet, He-Man dual controls are not yet available for it. So I shan't be placing my order just yet. But I imagine I'll have the car by May/June.
In truth, it wasn’t a bad run [from 2013]. But what stopped them [the find-an-instructor / track-your-progress app]? I think the answer's relatively simple: over-extension.
In the (über-)competitive global market fuelled by the internet, customer choice is king, so the real skill is to help busy buyers ‘cut through the noise’.
The DVSA’s own Pacenotes sounded a death-knell for MiDrive. Yes, Pacenotes was poorly received, but it showed the future: the testing agency itself offering a professional, smartphone solution, free. Both DVSA and MiDrive paid third-party designers for the interface. That’s a pricey and potholed road, but DVSA aren't looking for even a slim profit margin here. Staff are expensive and PaceNotes has none, and it sits well in partnership with gov.uk's ‘Find an Instructor’ service. So, why go elsewhere?
Perhaps another big clue is the reception seen with PaceNotes; while ADIs initially carped, no-one seems to have bothered leaving any online comment much after it launched in August.
As a cohort, ADIs are more set in their ways than most. We join this industry not as budding youthful entrepreneurs, but after “regular jobs” have worn us out or let us down. We loathe our admin chores, but dislike someone else’s way of doing it even more. Whether free or subscription, the only app that’ll last is the one you write for yourself and keep tweaking as your own needs change. Fun, if you like that sort of thing, which mostly we don’t. I know, I’ve tried before … and probably will again, but very much simpler.
Lest we forget, the original and ubiquitous BSM almost went under after a century. Times changes, client wants and whims change even faster. Delivery platforms must outpace them all, offer a “one-stop pit-stop” with the emphasis on succinct, quality training rather than route- or progress-tracking.
MiDrive were lovely to deal with, but the app was over-detailed, with margins too thin in the face of state competition. However good or clever, if you can’t convince more than 10% of us 40,000 ADIs to climb aboard, I seriously doubt any commercial ‘Find An Instructor’ scheme will endure.