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September 21, 2012

11-Year Old Develops Anti-Distracted Driving Application

By Oliver VanDervoort, Contributing Writer

Distracted driving is a problem that is ridiculously hard to solve. Despite everyone understanding that there are real dangers in driving while texting, people are doing it more all the time. Companies and state legislators alike have worked hard on trying to find a way to stomp out this practice. 

One young girl has come up with an innovative mobile application to try and get people to stop picking up their cell phone while behind the wheel.

AT&T has been backing a campaign known as “It Can Wait,” which is supposed to tell and show people that there are more important things than texting something behind the wheel of a car. The company recently held a contest, tasking developers with the challenge of coming up with a mobile application that would help to discourage distracted driving.

The company picked Rode Dog, an application developed by 11-year old Victoria Walker. The kid has received a $20,000 grant as the prize for her hard work.

Walker worked with developer David Grau after the two met at a “Hackathon” that was hosted by AT&T. Walker’s Rode Dog application allows members of a cell phone user “pack” to see if they are using their phone while they are driving. If the pack (family and friends) see that the user is doing distracted driving, they can send annoying barking noises to the user over and over again until they stop. 

Image via Shutterstock

Walker said she got the idea from her family’s three dogs, who she says can stop anyone from what they are doing with the cacophony they raise.

Walker and Grau are reportedly going to be using most of the prize money to further develop the application. The pair plans to launch the application on both Android and iOS later this year or early next year. 

They are also looking to add additional sounds and have launched a website in order for people to come and suggest other improvements to the application.

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Edited by Braden Becker
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