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Smart Driving Advantage: Kowloon students develop a mobile app

Technological inventions are born from life experiences. A four-member student team from Wah Yan College in Kowloon had an unpleasant experience of riding a truck, which led them to reflect on how to help drivers to concentrate on driving, and decided to develop "Smart Driving Advantage", a near-zero-cost cell phone application that is specialized in monitoring whether drivers are concentrating on driving. The development process was not smooth, but with the guidance of their teachers and brothers, they kept improving the application and eventually won the Gold Award in the "2023 Hong Kong ICT Awards: Student Innovation Award" organized by the Government's Information Technology Services Office, and will represent Hong Kong to compete in the "2023 Asia Pacific ICT Awards" later on.

The team not only hopes to win glory for Hong Kong, but also hopes that the program can be widely used in the community. For example, the team is now contacting transportation and insurance companies to propose cooperation to help drivers concentrate on driving, in the hope of reducing traffic accidents.

Four Form 5 students from Wah Yan College in Kowloon, Mr. Yip Shing Hei, Mr. Chu Siu Xan, Mr. Chan Chun Yin and Mr. Leung Hin Yan, formed a team to develop the cell phone application "Smart Driving Advantage". The team was inspired by a case in which they had been transporting musical instruments in a large lorry, and they were deeply disturbed by the fact that the driver, apart from listening to the phone, was also browsing through the social media platforms and communication apps on the phone while he was driving. Later, they collected information and found that about one quarter of car accidents in Hong Kong were caused by inattentive drivers, so they hoped to use technology to help drivers focus on driving.

The first version of the "Smart Driving Advantage" mobile application had many problems, and they all came back empty-handed from the competition. Chan Chun-yin recalled that at first, "when the driver turned into a roundabout, the system would continuously beep inaccurately, which in turn affected the driver's driving". Leung Hin-yan even laughed that "even after making adjustments, the system could not understand the actual driving situation". Thanks to the guidance of their teacher and his brother who studied abroad after graduation, as well as the team's self-learning on the Internet, the team was able to solve the problems one by one, and even updated the system the night before the competition in order to make it perfect.

In addition, compared with similar products and tools, "Smart Driving Advantage" features zero cost and only requires the use of a cell phone, so we are confident that it can be widely used, thereby reducing traffic accidents.

Apart from solving technical problems, the team also had to introduce their products in the competition, which made their presentation skills a big challenge. Mr. Chu laughed that due to time constraints, the team had to make some choices on the content of the presentation. Mr. Yip also said that he did not expect the team to make it to the final round of the competition, and the team was faced with a mountain of questions from the judges, and he described the team as "struggling with their brains to answer the questions", but the team finally won the Gold Award, and even became the first team in the university to win an award of the same kind of competition in recent years, which gave them a sense of surprise and joy, and they will be representing Hong Kong to take part in the "Asia Pacific Information and Communications Technology Awards (APICTA) 2023" in December. In December, they will represent Hong Kong to participate in the "2023 Asia Pacific Information and Communications Technology Awards".

As a next step, the team hopes to promote the invention to the application level, and is now contacting transportation companies to allow their drivers to use "Smart Driving" when driving. The students reiterated that "Smart Driving" is a special scoring system that "does not penalize drivers and force them to concentrate on driving, but encourages them to drive safely". Therefore, points will be calculated according to the driving time and the number of distractions, and drivers who accumulate a certain number of points can be promoted to a higher rank; and if the new invention is favored by the insurance company, it can be used for a reward program.

Mr. Lee Hoi Chun, Chairman of the STEM Education Committee of Wah Yan College, Kowloon, said that the school is currently providing STEM education to students, and in the future, art will be added in the hope that students will develop in a more holistic manner. He pointed out that the school has adopted a 3-tier STEM education framework, "for all" means that all students receive basic knowledge and ethics in computer and science subjects, "for some" means that 30 to 40 students in each grade are invited to join the Saturday enrichment classes because of their outstanding performance, and "for elite" means that individual students join the school team because of their outstanding performance, and there are about 10 students in each grade. For elite" means that individual students join the school team because of their outstanding performance, about 10 students in each grade.

He said that the four award-winning students were all part of the school team and witnessed that they had transformed their past unpleasant experiences into the motivation to develop the "Smart Driving Advantage", "Actually, it was already a great pleasure to achieve it...and winning the award was even better".

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