Almaty residents will be motivated to use "green" vehicles by mobile applications

24 Mar 2017

Last year in September the United Nations Development Programme held a transport hackathon within the framework of Tech Garden Fair. Three final projects were selected and evaluated by UNDP and IT experts.

The youngest participant Anouk Dyussembayeva, 15, represented project called Pedestrian to improve traffic safety around city schools. She offers to set up a volunteer network by creating a special website, a mobile application and a messenger bot.

Funding from the UNDP-GEF “City of Sustainable Transport Project”: 3,000USD.

Anouk Dyusembayeva, project developer:

My parents wanted me and my brother to be safe, and there has always been an adult person accompanying us. But later I began noticing a lot of children going to school all by themselves. I also heard a lot of stories about kids hit by cars on zebra crossings. Once I became a witness of such accident myself. I shared the story with my parents and they suggested that I start a project. I thought why not to create a volunteer network that would help children to cross the roads. My dad told me that the best way to promote the project was to participate in a hackathon. We’d been looking for a suitable one for a year in Kazakhstan and abroad. I was delighted to become one of the finalists, especially considering this hackathon has been supported by UNDP.

Now we are busy with creating a website to help volunteers to register. We will review the volunteer data, and if the person fits us, we will arrange a time and a place to serve them. Two schools have been chosen for the pilot. For example, there are several volunteer organizations in AlmaU (formerly known as International Business Academy) which is near Lomonosov School #38. I already spoke with some freshmen and found their interest in the project. But with school #55 we have to consider additional opportunities to attract volunteers as there aren’t any universities nearby. I would also like to talk about the project on parental meetings in various schools. During the testing period, we hope to gather more information to implement the project fully and conduct volunteers and participants survey.

Until recently, I still did not understand how important this project is. Recently, dad told me that at one of the crossroads we planned to include to pilot project a girl was hit by a car. After that I realized how real this problem is.

Piroq team in their turn have offered to develop a mobile app (Android and iOS) to monitor the quality of driving by public transport drivers. With the help of the Piroq. Bus programme called "Evaluate your quality of driving. Now for public transport drivers" bus parks and the city municipality can encourage or penalize drivers. The developers decided to focus on detailed analytics based on drivers’ personal rating provided by passengers. Center of Excellence of transport specialists, bus parks and local governance bodies will be able to benefit from the application data.

Funding from the UNDP-GEF “City of Sustainable Transport Project” added up to 20,000 USD.

Beibut Amirgaliyev, head of the group:

We decided to estimate the quality of driving by using the same approach that was used in Uber and Yandex Taxi services. After using the service, we normally receive trip quality evaluation forms, with a rating from 1 to 5 stars and a space for comments. In our case the comments should be forwarded to the transport parks and their owners can review the analytics on driving quality, complaints and positive feedback. In this way we can create drivers’’ profiles, and better service can be stimulated by providing such data.

We would like to improve citizens’ quality of life with the help of new technologies. We cannot proclaim that better quality of public transport driving influences on reduction of gas emissions. But if the driver is accurate his transport will burn less fuel and produce fewer emissions. Citizens mobility rating may attract more users from among the category of people who do not use or rarely use public transport. If passengers will know that all the comments and suggestions are not ignored and the quality of services is improved, and they will be aware of a certain frequency of transport, and quality of driving, it would motivate them to use buses on regular basis.

Singularity Lab has presented KokAlmaty project – mobile social game for a smartphone. Application tracks walking or cycling distance and converts them into bonuses or discounts that can be used at the partner shops and other cultural places. The application is mostly designed for young people between 15 and 35 years actively using smartphones and mobile applications. However, the target audience may be extended by the content partners.

Funding from the UNDP-GEF “City of Sustainable Transport Project”: 35,500USD.

Damir Saifullin, head of the group:

Our platform is based on Pokemon Go game. The system will let users find partners and friends via socials interactions. By walking, cycling or using another eco-friendly transport modes users can earn points that could be spent in partner places, shops, webpages etc. However, as we think, there is a flaw in Pokemon game as the user cannot “see” anybody around him. Our idea is to give the user an opportunity to see other participants within 500 meters or so to communicate. For instance, I would be interested in cycling in my home district and meeting new people at the same time. Besides, we would like business owners to have an opportunity to create quests upon completion of which clients can get discounts or any other benefits. Thus, the interest to application will be supported by local society initiatives.

We all suffer from the city transport issue. Our office is in a skyscraper. And we see the smog all over the city every day and think of what could we do to improve the air quality. We hope that our application’s bonus system will motivate people to walk more.