Commuters report pressure from the boss and a desire to stay connected as top reasons for reading e-mail while driving, new study finds

    Availability of voice-controlled iLane(TM) from IMS Inc. helps commuters

    WATERLOO, ON, Nov. 24 /CNW/ - Feeling a need to stay in touch, commuters
are continuing to check e-mail and text messages on the way to work, despite
possible risks to their personal safety according to a North American study
released today. The Commuting and Staying Connected omnibus, conducted by
Angus Reid Strategies for IMS Inc., found that 32% of Americans and 23% of
Canadians surveyed think that it is important to their work-life balance to
have access to text-messaging, phone and e-mail while commuting.
    Some are feeling pressure from their employers. Roughly a quarter of
Canadians (24%) and a fifth of Americans (21%) say they have missed an
important e-mail or opted out of a call from work while commuting. Some of
them - particularly in the U.S. - faced repercussions. American bosses were
more likely than their Canadian counterparts to react in a negative way to an
employee missing a call while commuting (29% of Americans versus 17% of
Canadians). At the same time, 18% of Americans and 8% of Canadians surveyed
feel like they are letting down their employer or colleagues if they fail to
answer work-related phone calls or emails.
    Accessing mobile technology en route to the office is important for many
simply because they like communicating and staying in touch with work, family
or friends (53% of Americans; 48% of Canadians), they want to make better use
of time (13% of Americans; 24% of Canadians), and they find it convenient (15%
of Americans and Canadians).
    "Whatever their reasons might be, this study shows that commuters are
beginning to consider in-car connectivity a basic need," said Tony Cassetta,
Chief Operating Officer, IMS. "These attitudes combined with increasing
pressures to stay connected are not likely to disappear, so it's important for
commuters to know that there is an alternative to accessing their devices
while on the road."
    That is why IMS today is announcing the North American availability of
iLane(TM), the first in-car device that interacts directly with your
smartphone and lets you manage your inbox using simple voice commands. iLane
is a portable smartphone-compatible device that can ride inside commuters'
vehicles, allowing them to control their smartphone entirely hands-free. iLane
reads e-mails to the user out loud, on command, and it allows for access and
control of other smartphone applications by voice command, including managing
phone calls, SMS messages and calendars.
    As an added feature, iLane provides daily news, sports, and weather
updates on-demand from The Associated Press and The Weather Network, ensuring
that commuters are not only connected to the office but are also well-informed
about what is happening in the world around them.
    iLane provides secure data exchange with the user's smartphone to keep
private information localized in the vehicle, with no need for an external
server connection. It also allows users to make and receive phone calls using
a simple voice command, without taking their hands off the wheel or their eyes
off the road.
    This may address the concerns of respondents who cited safety concerns as
a reason not to use mobile technology during their drive to work. More than
one third (37% of Americans and 35% of Canadians) cited this.
    "There are people with long commute times who feel that being connected
to the office while on the road is a priority," said Mr. Cassetta. "iLane is
an alternative choice that enables you to drive with both hands on the wheel,
allowing you to pay attention to what's happening on the road instead of on
your mobile screen."

    Pricing and Availability

    iLane(TM) is available in North America now at a suggested retail price
of $599.00, plus $7.99 per month. It can be purchased at
    iLane is currently compatible with BlackBerry(R) 8000 series and
smartphones running BlackBerry OS 4.1 and newer. Compatibility with additional
operating systems will be available throughout 2009.

    About IMS:

    Intelligent Mechatronic Systems Inc. (IMS) specializes in the research,
development and production of innovative and progressive solutions in the
areas of telematics, automotive safety and mobile media. Our proprietary
technologies, which combine mechanical engineering, electronic controls,
detection sensors and computational intelligence, are aimed at making 'safer
and smarter' vehicles. IMS' solutions include: iLane(TM), a hands-free,
voice-based email solution for in-vehicle use; and DriveSync(TM) a turn-key
GPS-based system for PAYD insurance offerings, fleet monitoring, vehicle
tracking, and government programs. IMS is based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
For more information about IMS, please visit

    Study Methodology

    From November 4 to November 7, 2008, Angus Reid Strategies conducted an
online survey among a randomly selected, representative sample of 1,002 adult
Canadians. The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out
of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to Statistics
Canada's most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure
a representative sample of the entire adult population of Canada.
Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
    From November 6 to November 11, 2008, Research Now conducted an online
survey among a randomly selected, representative sample of 1,010 U.S. adults.
The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The
results have been statistically weighted to ensure a representative sample of
the entire adult population of the United States. Discrepancies in or between
totals are due to rounding.
    Angus Reid Strategies polls are conducted using the Angus Reid Forum
online panel (, which is recruited via an
industry-leading process that incorporates a randomized, widespread invitation
approach and a triple opt-in screening procedure. The panel is maintained
through state-of-the-art sampling techniques and frequent verifications of
personal identity, contact information, and demographic characteristics. This
premier online survey platform presents respondents with highly visual,
interactive, and engaging surveys, ensuring that panel members provide
thoughtful and reliable responses.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Canadian inquiries: Paul Jenkins, Hill &
Knowlton, (416) 413-1218 ext. 4570 or; U.S.
inquiries: Elizabeth Yekhtikian, Blanc & Otus, (617) 451-7352 or

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