The Traffic Agent - A Mobile App for Children to Register Their Travels to School
Torkel Bjørnskau, Institute of Transport Economics, Aslak Fyhri, Institute of Transport Economics, Vibeke Rørholt, Oslo Municipality
The "Traffic Agent" is a mobile app for children to register dangerous spots on their way to school. The spots are located by GPS and data on children's travel patterns is collected. The app is introduced for over 40,000 schoolchildren in Oslo.
It is important to know how children travel to schools and what problems they face on their way in order to plan for safe transport and to promote walking and cycling. The "Traffic Agent" is a mobile app for children on which they can register dangerous and nice spots and areas on their way to school. When they face dangerous spots, or good spots, they can register those spots on their mobile phone by use of the app. They do this by checking in categories like "junction", "sidewalk", "much/little traffic", "good/poor visibility" and "high/low speed", etc. It is also possible to post pictures and write comments about the conditions.
The app will be introduced to the children through collaboration with Oslo schools. Schoolteachers will provide each pupil with a unique “agent number” to be used as logon key and to track the travels. The app is designed as a game where the child is asked to act as a secret agent to help register important facts about their way to school. The app will be introduced to all primary schools in Oslo, covering over 40,000 schoolchildren. All travels are logged and will provide researchers and planners with big data on travel behaviour that can be utilized for better transport planning.
The GPS function will locate the spots registered enabling the authorities to identify areas where safety or security measures are needed, like better lighting, better road maintenance etc.
The project and app development is a cooperation between the municipality of Oslo, Capgemini, The Institute of Transport Economics and The Norwegian Research Council.
Association for European Transport