Pinoy tech start-up develops app to monitor truck drivers

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A Filipino tech start-up has unveiled an app meant to improve the skills of drivers in the Philippines, particularly truck drivers.

Driver.ph allows monitoring tools to analyze the behavior of drivers on the road. The data can then be analyzed to recommend changes or suggestions for drivers or companies.

The tech start-up, a collaboration of logistics firm Quicktrans Cargo Moving Inc., the Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP), and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), was formally launched on February 22, although some of its features are still in development.

Ted Gervacio, CEO of Quicktrans Cargo, said the “app is important and will help the country’s problems on the road,” noting that fatalities on road accidents are mostly caused by trucks.

The country also suffers from a shortage of professional truck drivers. Only a few percent of truck drivers in the country are professionally trained and that there is a “shortage of skills among truck drivers” in the Philippines.

Gervacio said the app uses AI and data analytics to hopefully improve driving. Recommendations are given out the data analytics to indicate if a driver is fit to drive or not.

In a nutshell, Driver.ph collates data from the behavior of a truck driver on the road. An Internet-of-things (IoT) device is installed inside a truck to obtain the data.

Aside from IoT, the app also presents learning modules for truck drivers to future enhance their skills.

Learning modules are now available to licensed drivers. However, more features are still in development. Jun Reyes, project team leader of Driver.ph, said the mobile version of the app is already finished where the modules can be accessed.

Soon, the app will have “gamification” features, allowing for the simulation of driving and road conditions. IoT devices are also being currently designed for local trucks, as the positioning of the device will be critical.

DOST undersecretary for research Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevarra, said the project, which is under the auspices of the department through the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCCIERD), is a good way of “using science to solve the country’s problems” particularly during these challenging times where Covid-19 is still around.

PCCIERD director Eric Paringit said aside the TIP and DOST are now in talks with other government agencies, which earlier expressed interest in the Driver.ph app.

Driver.ph is one of the tech startups being funded and supported by the DOST and PCCIERD. Funding for the Driver.ph is reportedly a little over P4 million.

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