A-Driver: An Innovative Solution to the challenge of Safe Mobility in Colombia

Red Innova is a global community of social innovators, who participate in the Social Innovation Awards by Fundación MAPFRE, powered by IE. There are members from all across Latin America and Europe and the projects are all related to the categories of Mobility and Road Safety, Health, Ageingnomics and Insurance Innovation. A-Driver  is a member of the Red Innova Community and a semifinalist in the fourth edition of the Social Innovation Awards. This social impact project from Colombia competed in the category of  prevention and safe and sustainable mobility.

“A-Drivers’ products are designed and focused not only for the Colombian community as a whole but more towards individual safety in Colombia. It’s designed so that as an individual you feel safe, protected, in any situation that comes your way.”

– Alejandro Betancur A-Drivers Founder

When calling for social impact projects for the fourth edition of the Fundacion MAPFRE Awards for Social Innovation, boosted by IE, we were aware that in today’s world, interaction and interconnectivity is much broader and deeper than it was five years ago. There are new opportunities for the improvement and delivering of safe, healthy, and sustainable mobility in transport, especially in urban environments. These advances simultaneously offer tremendous opportunities for the prevention of accidental injuries. In line with the bases for the awards, the social impact projects should tackle challenges such as technologies for improving transport safety, and innovations that take advantage of existing platforms to design urban environments that are more sustainable both socially and environmentally. The social impact project “A-Driver” does a great role in seeking to improve these areas in Colombia.

A-Driver is a project located in Colombia consisting of a system that uses advanced technology, Head-Up Display (HUD), to project and present the driver with visual information in their field of vision. This technology can be manipulated primarily with gestures, without removing the hands from the steering wheel and by means of a wearable motion detection device; configured to collect information from the position of the driver’s fingers. This enables the driver or any rider to have control over external conditions from inside the vehicle. Research of this device has been conducted in Colombia with the Directorate for Innovation of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá.

Providing Society with Safer Mobility

Through such a technological approach, A-Drivers’ objective is to promote a much safer environment for individuals in Colombia. In an interview with the IE Center for Social Innovation and Sustainability, Alejandro Bentancur, Founder of A-Driver explained how at this moment, Colombia is going through a crisis where individuals feel unsafe, due to general issues and also issues arising from the pandemic.

As a project, A-Driver has begun to test Head-Up Display technology with a view to solving the issues revolving around the insecurities/unsafeness in which Colombian people are living, mainly around the automobility field (people safety when using transportation). Alejandro explains that as a project they started to look into the whole “safety” situation a bit and it caused curiosity. It is why they led themselves into more investigation. At that moment they had a lot of technology in their hands, in the project, and in the product. They saw the opportunity to develop this new product. People started to ask them for a product that was not only oriented towards automobile safety but also towards personal/individual safety.

About the Product:

The product consists of an innovative ring which is used by the individual in any situation that they please, or that they feel is necessary. Whenever there is a threat, the individual makes a slight movement/gesture in the finger where the ring is being worn. Automatically the ring sends a signal to a person/s of contact, alarming them of the situation (through an application that sends a notification).

This new innovation has been introduced in a time of cultural change. The product itself began with a pilot trial between family and friends, but soon the technology system that was being offered began to scale and Colombia’s cultural change started to present a demand for the use of this technology. A-Driver decided to introduce this new technology (Head-up Display) as a solution for the cultural change (lack of safety). Alejandro mentioned that introducing the A-Driver project to the Colombian culture was interesting to look at, but once they began to design a product that was more unique and aimed towards individual safety rather than collective, the project itself began to formalize and shape, and the name was more known across Colombia.

There is incredible value in innovative solutions tackling safe mobility in Colombia. Despite the fact that the product is relatively new, recently one of A-Driver’s clients shared their experience with the product. This client was riding a taxi, and they noticed that the driver had suspicious behavior. The driver was heading towards another direction that had nothing to do with the location requested. The client, immediately, with a simple finger movement was able to communicate the situation with the people of contact. This client’s words/ testimony were summed up to, “this ring saved my life.”

A-Drivers innovation has a great impact on individuals’ daily lives in Colombia. While using the ring the individual is more calm but if ever presented in a situation where they feel threatened or harmed, they can promptly notify their relatives and close friends of the danger they are in.

If interested, A-Driver can set a custom demo to implement the product to your organization, contact A-Driver at the e-mail j-betancur@javeriana.edu.co.


Biography of the Author:

Anagabriel Barahona

Anagabriel Barahona, Honduran, is a fourth year Behavioral and Social Science student at IE University. She is an intern at the IE Center for Social Innovation and Sustainability, working mainly on global impact projects for companies such as MAPFRE and JP Morgan. Anagabriel  is always open to new cultures and perspectives, demonstrating respect and empathy. She  finds interest in the application of Behavioral Sciences to other fields in order to generate positive and sustainable impact. In particular, she is interested in applying her learnings to the field of social work.

Linkedin: Anagabriel Barahona, linkedin.com/in/anagabriel-barahona-4190aa1a3

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