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Technology could help parents keep tabs on kids who are driving

Handing over the car keys to your teenager can be a scary time.

But a device typically used to help manage commercial fleets could one day give parents a little peace of mind.

The device is called the ROVR, the Realtime Operational Vehicle Reporting system.

It’s made by a Denver company called Cartasite, and used by companies like Encana to track driver efficiency and help reduce accident rates.

The small device plugs into the vehicle underneath the steering column.  It tracks rapid accelerations, hard braking and speeding.

Plus it offers GPS tracking.

If customers want to disable or monitor the phone while driving, it can do that too.

The CEO of Cartasite, David Armitage, is now considering whether or not to market the product to families.

His stepson Keaton Skudneski is a junior at Cherry Creek High School.

He and his friends put together a study on the ROVR for a marketing project at school to see if the ROVR could help improve teenagers’ driving abilities and reduce accident rates.

They put ten ROVRs into students’  cars for a month.

The ROVR sent a report to the drivers’ cellphones and their parents after every trip and offered a weekly scorecard for the family.

The group offered financial incentives for good driving.

If a student got higher than 90, they received $10.

“The better you are the more money you get,” said Chris Haines, a student.

His parents believe the ROVR made Chris more conscious of speed limits and stop signs.

Overall the study had impressive results.  “We found that driving habits improved across the board,” said Skudneski.

Now Cartasite can take the study information and decide how to move forward into the marketplace.  “I think the results are really encouraging,” said David Armitage.