In 2015, a young group of coders (who are also young drivers) have chosen to build NavLights - an application designed to help educate drivers and instructors about the road fatalities using a tangible medium.
By using the data presented by data.qld.gov.au, the project finds the exact location of road crash locations along with their level of fatality, and presents a heat map for easy viewing at their perusal, in hope that they are more educated about how real road fatalities are.
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NavLights is an educational solution designed to bring interactive data on local road fatalities to all Queensland drivers – especially novice and new drivers! Originally built for Android using Google Maps and SQL databases, the application allows users to find out how fatal the roads they drive everyday are, with the aditional ability to filter out the different road conditions and fatalities – minor accidents, time of day, weather conditions. These filters will help educate drivers about the correlation between road fatalities and road conditions.
With road fatalities being a morbid reality many drivers must be aware of before hitting the road, NavLights aims to educate Queensland drivers about how dangerous the roads can be. By creating an interactive heat map of accident prone locations that can be explored at the user’s perusal, NavLights aims to bring the statistics and data relating to road fatalities and conditions to a tangible medium.
With this interactive application displaying local, familiar maps, novice drivers and drivers new to certain Queensland locations can anticipate how busy and how accident prone these roads will be. And with the ability to search local roads, parents and driving instructors can learn how busy and accident prone the local roads are to find suitable quiet roads for the use of teaching novice drivers new maneuver and driving skills that’ll be essential for them.
Our app was developed for Android phones and tablets, written in Java with Android Studio. GoogleMaps Android API was used in order to display both the map and the heatmap overlay.
NavLights uses sql queries on the database containing the dataset in order to only render points within the screen width to help reduce memory/cpu usage as well obtain more meaningful data. NavLights was built with speed and efficency in mind, no wasting resources here, and given more time it could easily be improved upon to become an even faster and more reliable travel and road safety app.
The source control used for the project was Git, via our public GitHub, as the code is open source.
The project has made use of the following tools and resources to create the app and the relevant landing pages.