App for safer driving wins 11-year-old creator $20,000 prize

app for safer driving wins 11 year old creator 20000 prize textingThough not old enough to drive herself, 11-year-old Victoria Walker is still aware of the dangers posed by texting while behind the wheel. Take a journey on any busy road and you see plenty of drivers checking for new messages on their mobile device while occasionally glancing out of the windshield to see where they’re going. The consequences for some unsuspecting pedestrian, or driver of another vehicle, can be disastrous.

Attending AT&T’s ‘It Can Wait’ hackathon in Los Angeles recently, Walker decided to enter a competition to design an app that would make people think twice about texting while driving. Judges were so impressed with her creation that they awarded her the top prize of $20,000, some of which will go towards bringing the app to market in the coming months.app for safer driving wins 11 year old creator 20000 prize rode dog

According to the LA TImes, Walker developed the app, called Rode Dog, with help from David Grau, creative director of an interactive agency called WLDG.

The idea is that smartphone owners with the app link up to form a ‘pack’ – getting friends or family to sign up would be the easiest way to get started. Members of the pack can then check on each other to see if they’re texting while driving. If they are, an audible “bark” can be sent to the texter, which won’t stop until they acknowledge it and turn it off.

Grau confirmed that the continuous barking noise can get “really annoying,” hopefully forcing the driver to discard their handset and get their eyes back on the road. Let’s just hope they don’t have an accident while they’re dealing with the barking noise.

Sixth-grader Walker told the LA Times she got the idea for the app after remembering the racket created by her three dogs when they all kick off together, thinking that the noise they make would probably be bothersome enough to get drivers to think about what they’re doing and stop texting.

Walker and Grau are currently looking at ways to further develop Rode Dog, with plans to create a virtual pet store allowing users to buy other animal noises – like a roaring elephant, perhaps. On second thoughts, a sudden noise like that might be enough to send a startled driver careering off the road. Best stick with the dogs.

If you’re interested in getting hold of the app, head over to its webpage where you can sign up for updates regarding availability.

[Image: lightpoet / Shutterstock]

Cars

Seat belts will be required in Chevrolet’s new Teen Driver Mode

Seat belts are a simple technology, yet teens are terrible at wearing them. To curb this tendency, Chevy has announced a new safety feature for its Teen Driver Mode that prevents the car from leaving Park if seat belts are not engaged.
Cars

Alexa and Google Home-compatible JuicePlan simplifies EV charging at home

JuicePlan, eMotorWerks' new residential electric vehicle level 2 charging service subscription plan that simplifies EV home charger selection and installation, is now available in parts of California, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland.
Cars

Many Uber and Lyft vehicles have open safety recalls, report says

A Consumer Reports survey of roughly 94,000 cars registered with Uber and Lyft in New York City and Seattle found that many had open safety recalls. The rate of open recalls was similar to that of personal cars, however.
Cars

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport uses cameras to spot off-road obstacles

The 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport gets a host of new tech features, including a camera system that shows what's underneath the car. It also gets a mild-hybrid powertrain to improve gas mileage.
Mobile

Lyft’s new safety features include an in-app 911 panic button

In an effort to improve the safety of its ridesharing service, Lyft is rolling out several new safety measures that include an in-app panic button so riders can quickly and easily make an emergency call.
Cars

USPS taps self-driving big rigs to move mail between cities

The United States Postal Service is teaming up with autonomous-truck company TuSimple for a trial using its self-driving big rigs to transport mail between depots in Arizona and Texas.
Product Review

The segment-bending 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is an SUV in a track suit

For the 2020 model year, Porsche is expanding the third-generation Cayenne lineup with a more stylish Coupe-badged model. It's lower than a regular Cayenne, a little bit wider, and it wears a more muscular design.
Cars

Cover your risky riding with Voom’s A.I.-driven insurance for e-rides and drones

Voom wants to protect your assets. An outgrowth of drone insurance provider Skywatch, Voom covers user risks for short-term mobility platforms. Without insurance, an hour riding an e-scooter or piloting a drone could end in financial ruin.
Cars

Weighing the risks: The most dangerous cars, trucks, and SUVs in the U.S.

Larger passenger cars are safer than smaller cars, reports iSeeCars. In its analysis of the NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) annual report, the fatal accident rate for passenger cars decreases as their size increases.
Cars

Live out your 007 fantasy with this special edition Aston DBS Superleggera

Aston Martin is releasing a limited-edition DBS Superleggera inspired by the James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The Superleggera's ancestor was 007's car in that movie.
Cars

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup lets you see through trailers — sort of

The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck gets a handful of updates for the new model year, including a transparent trailer camera system and a big boost in maximum towing capacity.
Cars

Insiders claim the Tesla Model S nearly became the long-rumored Apple car

Apple offered to buy Tesla in 2013, according to an analyst who spoke to people familiar with the talks. Apple made Tesla a great offer, but the deal fell through when Elon Musk refused to step away from the company he helped found.
Product Review

Hyundai’s luxurious Tucson suffocates you with more – in a good way

The refreshed 2019 Hyundai Tucson may be one of the more affordable compact SUVs on the market, but there are more safety features than before as standard, as well as a hint of luxury.
Cars

Parents will never miss soccer practice with BMW’s new 523-horsepower SUVs

BMW is launching M Performance versions of its biggest SUVs, the X5 and X7. While not full-on M models, they do pack 523-horsepower twin-turbo V8 engines, allowing both SUVs to sprint from zero to 60 mph in under five seconds.