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Omani students design device to control phone use while driving 

9 Mar 2024 Omani students design device to control phone use while driving By MOHAMMED TAHA

Muscat – In an impressive display of youthful innovation, Maryam Farouk Abdullah al Balushi and Reem Salem Rashid al Muqbali, students of Al Turaif School for Basic Education in Suhar, have developed a device aimed at reducing traffic accidents caused by mobile phone use while driving. 

Called ‘Mobile Use Controller’, the device was highlighted at GCC Traffic Week 2024 in Muscat, held under the theme ‘Driving Without a Phone’.

Maryam and Reem’s project, which began in September 2023, was supervised by Muzoon Said Rashid al Muqbali.

Elaborating on how the device functions, Muzoon said it features a camera positioned to monitor the driver, designed to detect mobile phone usage. Upon detection, the driver is alerted through audio and visual warnings. Persistent phone use while at the wheel triggers a mechanism that gradually reduces vehicle speed until the mobile is no longer in use.

Muzoon emphasised the cost effectiveness of the device, noting its construction from simple, affordable materials. “The device’s ability to process visual data to discourage phone use has potential to significantly reduce traffic-related incidents and losses. Furthermore, its design factors in other traffic regulations, such as traffic fines, alerting the driver accordingly.”

The device has successfully passed testing phases, showcasing its ability to positively influence driver behaviour and reduce distractions. The team’s dedication, guidance from engineers and participation in Arduino programming courses have helped overcome several challenges, including identifying cost-effective material and sourcing electronic components. 

Muzoon thanked school director Fatima al Shibli and Liwa Science and Innovation Centre for its support and mentorship. The project marks a significant step towards addressing a critical safety issue while inspiring other young innovators to pursue their ideas with conviction and creativity. 

“To transform their innovative concept into a market-ready product and garner support from manufacturers, the students seek financial backing. Their vision is rooted in becoming a creative and innovative generation that pioneers solutions to current problems,” Muzoon added. 

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