Kenya’s Nduru road safety app available for Android phones

Nduru, a mobile app intended to end road carnage in East Africa, is now available for Android devices.

According to Thomas Kioko, the developer behind the app, he chose the Android OS system for its features as well as its popularity in East Africa.

“I chose Android because of the GPS feature,” he said. “Users will be able to monitor the speed of the vehicle they are travelling in. I initially started on the S40 platform but shifted to Android to leverage on the GPS feature. But the Nokia S40 platform is in the works too.”

Google’s Android OS was popularised by Huawei’s Ideos affordable smartphones, which reportedly sold over 300,000 devices in 2010. Samsung smartphones in the region also run on Android, hence the developer’s move to have a share of Android’s East Africa’s success story.

Nduru promises to manage almost all incidences related to road safety. It gives road users the ability to take charge of their safety through the mobile phone, allowing them to flag situations that could potentially lead to an accident before they do.

WHO statistics indicate 3,700 deaths were reported from traffic accidents in Kenya in 2009 alone, the highest in East Africa. Over 80 percent of these accidents, according to Kenya’s Transport Minister Amos Kimunya, are due to human errors such as careless or drunken driving, speeding and recklessness.

Ndurucame third in the student category globally and second in East Africa at the recently held Ericsson Applications Awards.

Kioko told HumanIPO that Nduru can also help warn drivers through a vibration that warns them of a black spot ahead.

The app also has a “speedometer” that helps passengers detect the speed of the vehicle. If the vehicle exceeds the 80 kilometres per hour speed limit, users can report the vehicle to the police. It also has audio and text tutorials that help users administer first aid to victims.

The “Offisa” sister app to Nduru is under development.

“Nduru” is the Swahili word for “scream.” Kioko says he chose the name because he thought it was time people shouted out against road carnage.

Kioko says he is sure that Nduru App will allow users to report dangerous drivers, vehicles and corrupt police officers in real time anonymously.

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