Giving you, the driver more information to make your travels safer is something the city is working on. Now there’s an app for that. The City has launched a new app called “SmartTravel” that provides audio cues while you’re behind the wheel.
“One of the biggest challenges that people often say is, “oh I didn’t know there was a school zone here,'” said Coun. Bev Esslinger at the launch at City Hall. “So if you have this loaded and running in the background, as you approach a school zone you’d be very well aware of it, so it would give you that bit of awareness. The other complaint we’ve often had was, ‘I didn’t know the speed zone had changed,’ so those are the two things verbally it’s going to warn you about.”
“One of the things we’re learning is that if you’re in people’s grills, if you’re in their faces with things they pay attention,” said Coun. Dave Loken. “So whether it’s signage or whether it’s verbal, when people are more aware and if we can help people be more aware that’s where it seems to be making more of a difference in traffic safety.”
“Believe it or not, people who’ve driven for a number of years still don’t know what the speed limits are in certain areas of the city, so this is something that’s going to remind them,” he said.
The designers of the app say you just have to load it, and activate it once, then it’ll also be able to give voice commands.
“This is about education and really making awareness a big part of what citizens need to change their behavior to make the road safer,” said Gerry Shimko of the Office of Traffic Safety.
“SmartTravel” will also give weather-related hazards, and warnings of potential black ice. It’ll also list high collision locations based on city stats, and provide areas of current traffic disruptions.
The city insists the app is also anonymous, meaning they won’t track if you are speeding, and send you a ticket in the mail.
The app is a joint project of the University of Alberta Centre for Smart Transportation and the Office of Traffic Safety.