Purkeys’ Aware Audio Interrupter Converts Text-Based Communications to Voice, Enabling Drivers to Comply with FMCSA No-Texting Rules

Purkeys’ Aware Audio Interrupter technology converts telematics and other text-based messages to voice and relays communications wirelessly through the vehicle’s audio speakers, while simultaneously silencing other signals coming through the system.

Purkeys is excited to announce the introduction of the newest version of its Aware Audio Interrupter! The new Aware system automatically reads text-based messages and features a powerful solid-state amplifier that strengthens its voice quality and amplitude, helping messages to be heard more clearly, even over ambient highway noise.

Though some fleets and drivers may think that the patchwork of state laws governing the use of mobile devices by non-commercial drivers also applies to them, the FMCSA has strict mobile device-handling and no-texting rules that universally govern all commercial vehicle operators within the United States. The rules forbid reading or sending texts from hand-held mobile devices by truck and bus drivers while operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

The Aware Audio Interrupter is an advanced audio interface management system that integrates with a vehicle’s existing speaker array. The Aware system automatically silences all competing audio signals and reroutes messages from mobile phones and telematics devices through the speakers safely and effortlessly, without the driver having to turn the radio on, turn the volume down or take their hands off the wheel. With the Aware system, hearing messages in real time is simple and intuitive, allowing drivers to focus on the road, while remaining alert and able to respond to changes in driving conditions.

“Purkeys’ Aware Audio Interrupter assures FMCSA compliance, while promoting driver retention and safety,” said Hall Fess, account representative for Purkeys. “The system relays clear, crisp audio messages that can be heard over the din of background cab noise – and it operates even when the radio is off.”

Fleets that have invested in mobile communications for dispatch automated logging applications and automatic onboard recording devices can immediately benefit from Purkeys’ new system, because it keeps their drivers informed and helps everyone comply with strict FMCSA rules. With the Aware Audio Interrupter, drivers can interface with their fleet’s telematics systems and get real-time communications updates from mobile phones and tablets while they are on the move, and without having to stop and pull over to read written communications.

The Aware system is easy to install and uses plug-and-play technology to interface with the vehicle’s existing audio interface. Installers simply choose the Aware as an auxiliary device and after that, the system is paired and ready to do its job. The system remains hidden after installation. There is also an optional mobile phone microphone connection, sold separately, for hands-free use. The Aware Audio Interrupter comes with a three-year warranty.

Research commissioned by FMCSA shows the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash, unintentional lane deviation) are 23.2 times greater for CMV drivers who text while driving than for those who do not. Texting drivers took their eyes off the forward roadway for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, this equates to a driver traveling 371 feet, or the approximate length of a football field (including the end zones)—without looking at the roadway!

“Reading texts or operating a mobile device while driving isn’t just dangerous, it’s illegal if you’re a commercial driver,” Fess said. “The Aware system is simple to install, makes FMCSA compliance easy and is backed by a three-year warranty and by Purkeys’ dedicated customer service professionals.”