Monday, January 30, 2017

Province introduces new mobile app for Highway travellers

BCHighways is a new
app available for travellers
across British Columbia
Those who take to the highways across British Columbia now have one more tool to use when it comes to travel planning and tracking conditions along the network of roads in the province.

The Province has teamed up with a Victoria based application development firm known as AirSenze Solutions to introduce real time access to highway information, road closures, planned work or extreme weather conditions.

The app which is known as BCHighways is free to download comes in both apple and android versions. It works on such devices as an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV as well as many android devices.

The program integrates Drive BC's twitter feed along with border crossing information and the network of BC Highway cameras to give travellers a complete view of what their travel day will look like before they hit the road.

Samarth Mod, the CEO and co-founder of AirSenze outlined that the idea for the app came while becoming struck in traffic while travelling to Alberta and noted that the cooperation of the province in providing data for the project offered the chance to provide a valuable service to travellers.

“After getting stuck for two hours driving to Banff because of an accident, we saw the perfect opportunity to develop a native app using DriveBC’s open511 data. We think it’s super cool that B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has provided the open data to BC Developers’ Exchange and giving companies like ours the data we need to develop easy to use apps that benefit the lives of millions of people. And as a start up, we also wanted to show our expertise to the government to gain trust and credibility. Hence, it results in a win-win situation for everyone.”

Needless to say, the province has noted that anyone using the app while on the road is required to pull over to a safe area of the highway to access the application, noting how operation of electronic devices while driving is against the law.

Road Conditions are
one feature of the new
BCHighways app
The network of BC
Highway cameras is
part of the new
BCHighways app

Transportation Minister Todd Stone outlined some of the elements included as part of the new application.

“By making DriveBC’s Open511 data available to the public, we’re helping make driving on B.C. highways even safer for British Columbians and apps like these share our valuable road information system making it more available to more people. The more people who ‘know before they go’ — whether they check the DriveBC website, mobile site, phone system or partner apps — the easier it is to make better travel decisions.”

You can review more information related to the program here.

More background about AirSenze Solutions can be found from the company website.

For a review of items related to the Highway 16 corridor see our archive page here.

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