Two SQU students have developed a GPS-synced display system that provides drivers all the information needed for navigation in their line of vision to make driving safer and focused.
‘Navigation eye’ merges augmented reality (AR) with Heads-Up Display technology to project the instructions provided by a GPS application on the windshield in front of the driver.
The brainchild of Taif al Badi and Moza al Jabri, Navigation eye was declared one of three winning projects of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation’s Upgrade Programme on December 8.
The programme transforms the best graduation projects employing 4th Industrial Revolution technologies into successful ICT startups.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Taif said, “The idea emerged from the realisation that the main problem lies in our reliance on navigation devices like GPS and Google-maps while driving. These apps have become very important for the kind of assistance they provide. At the same time, they cause serious distractions leading to accidents.”
During the early stages of project development, Taif and Moza conducted a survey among people (mostly drivers) to know if navigation tools distract them while driving.
“A vast majority – 77 per cent of the 300 people surveyed – said navigation tools are distracting and that they had been in situations as a result of these devices on the road when they narrowly escaped accidents. So we presented to them the idea of our project and all volunteered to try it. They said they’d be glad if such a system exists. So that is what actually pushed us to continue working on our project,” Taif said.
“We wanted to make use of the available navigation applications in a smarter and safer way. With AR, together with Heads-Up Display, we were successful in projecting the navigation instructions on the windshield to minimise driver distraction.”
Taif and Moza started work on their project in January but the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic derailed their initial plans. “Our main concern was the arrival of parts to begin testing. After initial delays, they did eventually arrive and we managed to complete the project within the stipulated time. Working remotely with the team members also posed some problems,” she added.
The project is currently in its final stages before approval for commercial use. “We will have full startup support from Omantel. We have also presented the project to Mandoob and Otaxi – both have agreed to use the system in their cars when it’s ready.”
“Navigation eye will be our contribution to Oman Vision 2040,” Taif added.
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