Azadi - a mobile app that enables Indian women to gain confidence in driving
User flow 1. navigating a safe route and reporting any threat that targets women
User flow 2. quick searching for nearby facilities where women can seek for help
Azadi means freedom in Hindi
In 2012, a 23-year-old Indian female, Jyoti, was beaten, gang raped and tortured in a bus in Delhi, India. There were six men on the bus, including the driver, all of whom raped and beat her. Would it be the same if the driver was a woman? Our team consists of 3 women and 1 man. As female representatives in the male-dominant STEM industry, we chose to focus on women’s rights. Upon our research, we realized that only 25% of drivers in India are women. Women in India chose not to drive because they feel unsafe to do so. The lack of drivers on the roads prevents allyship from forming amongst women and limits women’s exploration. Thus, we came up with a solution to increase the number of female drivers in India by making driving safer for them.
What It Does
Our target users are women in India who have a drivers’ license i) but do not drive because they are not confident about driving and ii) do drive on the road.
The app helps Indian women more comfortably explore their surroundings by:
1) Navigating safely
Azadi helps them discover safe routes utilizing the data retrieved from the APIs we utilize (see below), determining whether or not an area is safe for travel according to the user-generated reports of a specific location.
2) Report for others
Users can report any potential hazards like dark roads, aggressive driving, abuses, and so on as they drive, on the app. This data will be updated in our database, which will be used by the AutoML API to calculate the real time safety of each area. This will i) inform other women drivers about things to note in real-time and ii) improve the accuracy of safe routes suggested by the app.
3) Quick assistance
Quick search enables women to promptly find useful information like the police station locations, roadside restrooms (there are not many restrooms for women since there are less women drivers), safe zones (the safe areas calculated by NLP on comments, Abusive Experience Report API, ML), repair shops, and the location of other women drivers, so that they can take care of any incidents independently using the app.
Once you click on the location, you would see a one-touch dial button to make a call to the location and also feedback from other users whether this place has really been helpful; not every single police constable does a good job in India. It will help users to locate the police stations that could be more helpful when they are seeking for help.
4) Sharing Driving Experience
A social feed to give users a platform to connect with other female drivers to share driving tips and other useful information.
The discussions could be about:
1.How to be a confident driver (driving or mechanical jargon, car repair video tutorials) 2.How to remain safe in sexist driving scenarios Networking events to connect mentors and learners
How We Built It
We planned on using Google’s Maps API to retrieve the current location of the users. The safest route given by our app is calculated by Google’s AutoML API using data reported by users (analyzed using Google’s Natural Language API and stored in Datastore) and data retrieved from the Abusive Experience Report API. Google’s cloud messaging API was to be used in building the feed for this app. In the future, we’ll be switching to Firebase instead of Datastore to provide real-time updates to the map as users report about their surroundings and save their answers to our database, allowing easier visualization of the data we collect. We’ll be developing the application in stages based on our current wireframe to expedite our construction and prevent straying from our original vision for the application.
Challenges We Ran Into
Some of the libraries we tried to install were very particular in their implementation, meaning that if you installed any portion of the library out of order you wouldn’t be able to properly access the library within your code. As a result, we were unable to populate our database with specific entities. Also, we had issues fully utilizing the libraries we successfully installed because the documentation consisted of examples and didn’t explain the methods provided by the library which provided another obstacle. Due to limited time and resources, we couldn’t interview as many of our potential users. We had to rely solely on personal experience from one of our team members, who came from New Delhi, India.
Accomplishments that We're Proud of
We developed a fully-thought out web and mobile app that is ready for full development in the future, which we intend to do. We tackled a more impactful topic that has the potential to improve the lives and well-being of a larger population, not only in India but hopefully around the world.