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Bondies create new reality for learner drivers

The way motorists learn to drive could be revolutionised by a new app designed by students at Bond University. 

The app, designed by Jordan Gahan and Liam Pillay, works in conjunction with specially designed playing cards.

A smartphone held over the cards displays an interactive image of a driving scenario in augmented reality.

The Bond Interactive Media and Design students hope the app could replace the old learner’s handbook.

“We wanted to design something that was educational and with a purpose,” Mr Gahan said.

“I was thinking about my friends here at Bond University who have just got their licence and it made me think back to the handbook that we use for L and P plates.

“No-one ever reads the handbook. 

“I thought it was something I could bring into the 21st century that isn’t just a stack of paper that no-one reads.

“The idea is to make it a fun and interactive experience for learning drivers.”

Users can interact with driving scenarios, watch tutorials, learn the road rules and ‘drive’ a car to comply with the rules from both a top-down perspective and a driver’s point of view from inside the car.

Instant feedback is then given to let users know if they passed or failed the scenario.

The students hope to get government support to build the concept and release the project into the Australian market. 

“It would be great to get the government on board and improve the driving pedagogy,” said Mr Gahan.

“It’s using their terms from the driver’s handbook and their rules. It would really complement the handbook.

“It gives learners a really fun interactive way to learn the rules before they encounter them in a real-life situation.

“Another benefit is that parents can interact with their kids in a stress-free environment, before getting in the car.”

While only in an early stage of development, the students say there is no limit to what the app could do, including incorporating rules from multiple states, or even transferring the app to other countries.

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