DerevaBuddy.com aims to use traffic data to help road users understand realtime road traffic easily. Coloured donut charts, percentages and realtime graphs. The web app gives users to realtime traffic on city roads, alternative routes, and maps on the best perfomaing roads instead of relying just on social media.
According to the developer, Kipkirui Tanui, an abstract photographer, an Information Systems developer and a Part-time VDJ, “Everyone is using social media timelines to try and understand how traffic on their commonly used roads is performing. This information is somehow not realtime and less structured for an instant judgement. Its more complicated for a driver who is on the wheel trying to grasp this information whilst driving.”
DerevaBuddy wants to solve that problem. Tanui adds that it uses realtime , crowd-sourced from various road users on all major roads and analyzes them per timestamp. DerevaBuddy also uses easy to understand percentages, coloured donut charts as per situation. Red= bad, Orange = Moderate , Green = Free flowing just like seen on traffic lights, which road users are accustomed to.
“Its best for drivers as at a snapshot or glance, one can tell how a road is performing, on what time of day , day of week etc. No more need of logging onto social media to get this information. Our logged in users get more detailed information on their roads of choice that becomes their homepage when they customize their profiles. We wont tell you about Thika Road , for example, if you live on Langata Road, Instead we give you all details about Langata Road, the possible alternative i.e Ngong Road, a GPS sensitive Google maps to allow you to switch the roads if your alternative road (i.e Ngong Road) is performing better than the one you are currently on,” Tanui adds.
DerevaBuddy is free for the first 3 months and then a monthly charge of KES 100 (slightly over $1). At just KES 100, the monthly subscription service is cheap. According to a report by the World Health Organization, road accidents kill as many as 13,000 road users in Kenya a year while over 50 million shillings ($578,000) is wasted a day on traffic jams.
With crowd sourced data within the app from both logged in and non-logged users, 3rd party data from Ma3route, DerevaBuddy evaluates each entry, maps them on graphs and then generates percentages and coloured donut charts. Kirui says regular contributors get incentives every time they submit traffic data.
He says he is developing mobile apps for Android, Windows, BlackBerry among others to encourage users to contribute and also enjoy the service and share upates with their friends. Currently, we are on beta testing the app also shows current fuel prices, accidents and fares.
DerevaBuddy is not launching in a vacuum. Already Ma3Route has become popular with road users and FM stations on giving users up to date information on what is happening on their roads. Ma3Route also uses crowd-sourced information submitted via its Twitter via its Twitter handle and also via its app. Another Twitter handle, RoadAlertsKE is also helping road users get to their destinations safely and in time. The developer is also coming up with MyCounty.org to help users follow up what is happening in their counties.