Abdullah Hejazi, a Saudi computer engineer developed a mobile app “Hofra” along with his team.The purpose of app is to monitor road conditions and keep alerting drivers about any unfavourable danger on their route.
The app is currently for United States and Saudi Arabia, Hejazi said.The app allows to exchange information about 20,000 road hazards.
The app came into existence because of a fatal accident of a close relative on pothole on the road.Others who have the luck of surviving are left with costly repairs and serious injuries.
“We decided to engineer the solution and came up with this application” , Hejazi said.
Following a lot of research, the team worked on a mobile app that operates on crowdsourcing that allows the community to share the responsibility of reporting road hazards.
“ We strive to help governments fix the problems that people most complain about as well as be aware of the need of maintenance and improve road conditions ” he said.
“The goal is to make it a stand-alone app.”
The app is created specifically for the road condition therefore it tells everything such as potholes condition, the asphalt’s condition, spilled water, abrasions and construction work.
After challenges faced, Hejazi said:
“We were expecting the app to take a few weeks to develop, but in reality — it took eight months nonstop. Our team consists of a developer, designer, project manager, and user tester. We found out so many things about roads that we didn’t know about. We went out and asked the opinion of people on the streets. We met experts and learned about potholes and maintenance.”
To enhance Hofra app services on larger scale we have to collaborate with municipalties in Saudi Arabia, Hejazi said.
The Kingdom has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world. Up to date, it has reportedly exceedingly reached over 170%.
“ Smart devices in Saudi Arabia are in the hands of the young and the old ” he said.
“However, Arabic content is very little. I wish Saudi Arabia leads the front in mobile smart technology.”
“There’s been a lot of buzz about billion-dollar companies born after 2005 that started from mobile apps. Today these companies generate a lot of money and contribute to the growth of the economy. There needs to be enough companies and startups to launch as many apps in the market for the Arab population.”
He expects that in coming years the smart application will boost its market simlar to the dot-com boom.