BrightPath is the solution to a critical safety issue with Google Maps. Google Maps ONLY optimizes for commute time and distance, not safety. BrightPath fills this gap by highlighting the safest pedestrian route to your destination. We make walking a viable option again.
This hack was inspired by many personal accounts of Google Maps leading pedestrians through dark alleys and dangerous areas to reach the destination. Especially for tourists searching for a restaurant, pedestrian safety becomes a huge issue when users are unfamiliar with the area.
Why walk? 70% of the world's population will be living in cities by 2050. This means more people, and with more people, moving these people around becomes a complex logistics problem. Walking not only decreases traffic, but it also reduces a city's carbon footprint.
What it does
BrightPath is a maps service optimized for pedestrians. Pedestrians can enter their beginning and end locations, and the app will use the Google Maps API, along with user input data to create the safest route possible for pedestrians (also taking commute time and distance into account). The app uses the Google Maps API to give step-by-step audio and visual directions to the destination. Then, the app allows the pedestrian to rank (on a 5-star scale):
- aggressiveness of drivers (were the drivers reckless around crosswalks?)
- sidewalk safety (violent homeless people, crowd/mob on sidewalk, construction sites, absence of sidewalk, etc.)
- ambience (did the street feel dangerous, like a dark, narrow alley?)
The user input allows our program to generate average safety scores for individual streets. The program uses this data to create an optimized route from point A to point B.
BrightPath also allows users to input safety data without having previously used the directions service. Anyone can open the app and give feedback data on the safety of any street. For instance, if you happened to be walking down a surprisingly dangerous street and wanted to alert others of this danger, you could mark the street and give it a low rating from the BrightPath app.
The app can then use this real-time data to redirect pedestrians towards safer routes.
How I built it
We used Sketch and Invision to build a prototype of BrightPath. We were unable to code this hack due to OS difficulties.
Challenges I ran into
Devising a way to determine a safe route was a major roadblock for us. We considered all different sorts of metrics, like crime, streetlamps, average speed of cars, and the presence of a sidewalk.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
For everyone on the team, this was our very FIRST time using Sketch and Invision. We taught ourselves how to use the features and received some support from amazing mentors. We're proud that we could create this mock-up of our hack, since Sketch and Invision turned out to be much more difficult to use than we anticipated.
What I learned
How to use Sketch and Invision, how to go from idea to fully developed app
What's next for Bright Path
Adding additional metrics for safety Adding an option for bikes Adding more information about the environmental impacts of people's transportation choices Increasing user database
BrightPath: lighting the way to pedestrian heaven, one to path at a time.