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Best of CES: Bracketron Joins Forces With Uber For Safe Driving Experience

Bracketron has teamed with Uber for an upcoming line of mobile accessories, and one of its first products — the Uber Edition Dash Magnet Mount — has taken home a TWICE Picks Award for Mounting Accessories.

The Dash Magnet Mount, like its Uber mobile accessory siblings, is geared toward Uber drivers. In addition to featuring the Uber branding, the products were engineered with an Uber driver’s needs specifically in mind.

Bracketron told TWICE it worked closely with both executives of the ridesharing service, as well as its drivers. According to Bracketron VP of product and business development Andy Chow, Bracketron recruited several of Uber’s “best and brightest” drivers — those who had some of the most tenure — to provide input on what they needed from mobile accessories, as well as concerns they had. Collaboration sessions were held in Chicago, in which the Bracketron team quizzed the drivers on the types of features they would like to see, as well as what could possibly improve both the driver and the customer experience.

For example, Chow said, one driver told Bracketron that one of the first things an Uber customer looks for when he or she enters a car is a power source, but the cables are usually either too long or too short. To combat this, Bracketron developed a cable that can grow from the driver’s position to comfortably reach the backseat. It also developed a charging product that puts USB ports in the backseat.

For the Picks-winning Dash Magnet Mount, it comes as no surprise that Uber drivers are heavily dependent upon their smartphones. Whether they’re using GPS or receiving rides, drivers must have their phones easily accessible at all times while they’re in the front seat. This access, however, must always fully comply with a state’s vehicle technology laws.

Chow said Bracketron received vital feedback about legislation in some states that prevents drivers from attaching things to a windshield. To combat this problem, the Dash Magnet Mount instead features a suction cup that secures to the dash using a special type of gel. This gel will not leave a sticky residue behind when it’s removed, addressing yet another issue that was uncovered during the collaboration sessions — drivers not wanting to leave anything behind in the car they’re driving.

As Chow noted, having a smartphone fall off the mount during use is not an option for Uber drivers. To ensure this wouldn’t happen, the Dash Magnet Mount uses a 15-pound rare earth magnet to secure the phone in place, preventing it from becoming a potential projectile. This also addresses any state legislation that mandates a smartphone must be mounted while it’s in use by the driver.

While the feedback Bracketron received came from veteran Uber drivers, the Dash Magnet Mount (and the other products in the line) are geared toward all of the company’s drivers, no matter how long they’ve been on the road. Adam Harmon, marketing manager for Bracketron, noted that many drivers enjoy showing off Uber’s products and having the Uber logo prominently displayed in their vehicle.

The partnership between Bracketron and Uber is also extending to include a series of incentives for drivers (or riders) who purchase these accessories. When new drivers purchase a mount, charging cable or charger, they will receive a special code to use when signing up with Uber. Once the first ride is completed, drivers will receive a $50 bonus. Those who stick with Uber will receive a $200 bonus after 100 rides.

“Uber gives people the opportunity to earn money driving on their own time, and offers an alternative, affordable method of transportation for those that need it,” said Chow. “We’ve always promoted safe, hands-free-driving, what better partner than a service that has made transportation easy, safe and accessible for all.”

Chow said that these products are just the beginning for the company and that it continues to work closely with Uber for designing accessories. Bracketron is also providing components to the ride-sharing service to make its own accessories for drivers, he added.

Noted Chow: “We’re heavily engaged with them in making that in-car experience as safe as possible.”