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America’s first responders risk their lives everyday for us, by combating crime, fighting fires, and aiding those in need. We were shocked to learn we, as civilians, were one of the leading causes of death for our heroes. In short, nearly one thousand people die in accidents occurring when first responders race to those in need, caused by increasingly distracted drivers failing to yield the right of way, lowering speeds, and watching intersections. There are also nearly one million drivers in the United States alone who are hearing impaired and actively driving. On top of this, response times in highly populated cities have failed to decrease, leading to high mortality rates among victims of heart attacks, drowning, and trauma. Some reports have shown that some response rates can be cut in half with proper observation of Move Over Laws that exist in every state, which state procedures for road rules involving first responders. Move Over is also the inspiration for our project name. We hope to save hundreds of lives each year with the mass rollout and adoption of our free application.
What it does
Move Over is a project consisting of two applications. First responders use their version to send out their GPS coordinates to our Firebase-service database. This information data is then sent out to normal drivers with the application, and alerts drivers to nearby first responder vehicles they might not have noticed before. The app serves to be a secondary warning system that works to increase driver awareness on top of the ordinary lights and siren systems of first responders.
How we built it
We used Android Studio, with API 24 and Ice Cream Sandwich, to create the sender and receiver applications. We also used Firebase to facilitate data transfer between users along with the open source library GeoFire. We also utilized Google Services 3.0 for GPS tracking. We also used Google Docs, Facebook Messenger, and Github repositories to work together as a team.
Challenges we ran into
GPS services could not run while indoors, making testing of the app a lot harder. Additionally, we had a bit of trouble setting up repositories. We also ran into bugs with the sending info via the database.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
For some of us, it was our first mobile app. We successfully created a prototype demonstrating the concept of our app. While the app certainly has a lot of room to grow, the principle is clearly demonstrated and if mass distributed, can be our legacy into helping save lives.
What We learned
Setting up repositories correctly can be a bit challenging. A well development plan helps make implementation run much smoother. And of course, we gained a lot of experience developing Android mobile apps.
What's next for Move Over
Our immediate next step would be the polishing of our product, such as increasing efficiency to accommodate large data amounts in our database and adding cybersecurity measures since we are dealing with user’s location privacy. We will also increase our customer base by creating compatible products on iOS and Windows operating systems.
Once we have a published product, we will take steps to bring the application to market, taking advantage of online app store distribution for normal clients. Our sender app version, which has the unique privilege of sending location data, will have a restricted distribution to first responders only.
We will raise funding in likely three rounds. In the seed round, we will use funds to polish our prototype to a ready-to-distribute product. Early stage round funds would be used to enable small scale rollout to our test market of small city governments. Finally, after showing proof of concept and sufficient market demand, we will use late stage round funds to facilitate our large scale rollout to larger cities in the United States and beyond.
Move Over needs to prove effectiveness by gaining market share and demonstrable successes. To accomplish this, we plan to start a division to first reach out to our targeted distribution audience, small local city governments. These governments will utilize the application in their first responder departments and encourage civilian involvement via public service announcements. After effectiveness has been proven in the real world the plan would be to shift to larger cities and an inevitable payed model where we negotiate contracts for our service. Eventual expansion would work into international markets. Alternative paths of integration is to incorporate the app into newer automobiles, eliminating the need for smartphone mediums.