Driving instructors across Aberdeen have been trialing a new app to help protect them against Covid-19.
Aberdeen & District Driving Schools Association, has been working with tech firm GoRoadie, founded by Michael Carr and Barry White, to build an app that helps make driving instructors “feel safe” during Covid-19.
The team spoke to 90 instructors to discover their challenges during the winter lockdown and discovered Covid-19 was still a real concern for many of them.
The association had previously set each learner a Covid-19 survey before each lesson. However, this created additional administration for each driving school.
Final road test
Now in a bid to make things easier and quicker, 15 instructors are currently trialing the GoRoadie Pro app before it is rolled out nationally the middle of this month.
The app now sends a text to each pupil, 24 hours before their lesson, to allow them to use Lesson Check-In (similar to an airline check-in) and confirm they do not have symptoms, are not self isolating and their household is COVID-19 free.
The GoRoadie Pro app, which has been designed at a cost of £30,000, also takes things a step further by offering progress tracking, lesson scheduling and lesson reminders for learner drivers.
It expects to save driving instructors 4-6 hours each month on administration.
Derek Young, Aberdeen & District Driving Schools Association secretary, said: “The app is to make life a lot easier for the driving instructor.
“It saves time and keeps us all safe and protected.
“The team at GoRoadie have really listened to what we were saying and managed to digitise that process on our behalf. The app itself is what instructors need in this day and age.”
The app itself is what instructors need in this day and age.”
Work on the app began shortly before Christmas, just after the tech firm won a £60,000 prize at Scottish EDGE.
Mr Carr, chief executive of GoRoadie, said: “Anything we do we always show it to Aberdeen first to get their input. We’ve worked very closely with them since launching our website in March 2019.
“The Aberdeen association has a great reputation across the UK.
“The biggest challenge for instructors right now is making sure they are safe and the spread of Covid is reduced.
“For instructors sometimes they would show up to the pupils house and they would say they were self-isolating and can’t do their lesson.
“The instructor has then lost an hour of their wage which is £35 down the drain and gone.
“Sending the text message 24-hours before and getting them to answer a few Covid related questions eliminates this.
“The instructor has then lost an hour of their wage which is £35 down the drain and gone.”
“We have a clear mission – make instructors’ lives better. By working closely with a select group of instructors and their pupils, we have been able to shape the app to solve their day-to-day challenge.
“We are looking at how we can give instructors back hours each month. Our goal is to give them four or five hours a month.
The reaction to the app so far has been encouraging and GoRoadie are now looking to the future.
Mr Carr said: “It’s been really surprising how positive the feedback has been.
“If we are building something valuable then they’ll want to use it. So we want to make sure we are doing that.
“But we are not finished yet. We are excited about bigger changes we want to make.
“Something we are looking at is allowing pupils to see when their instructor is en-route by sending them an alert.
“We want to modernise the industry as it’s been lacking behind.
“We want to come in and make sure the learners are getting the most modern experience they can but also save instructors lots of time and money.”