Driving in Ukraine is unlike driving in the EU – its a unique experience. That is, uniquely bad.
Years of neglect have left most roads in a desperate state of disrepair and corruption within the institutions of State responsible for road building/maintenance means that even when repair work is done it is often under-funded and poorly executed.
As a result, Ukraine has some of the worst roads in Europe and this has a serious consequences for Ukrainian drivers who must either travel longer distances to avoid the worst roads or slowly crawl along those roads avoiding the worst cracks potholes.
But how can drivers and GPS navigation systems plan if they have never traveled along their planned route? How can they gauge, in advance, the quality of the roads ahead?
UAROADS provide the solution. By installing an app on users phones the company uses GPS location data and ‘shaking’ captured by the phones gyroscope to assess the quality of the roads as drivers drive along them. This info is sent to a central server which aggregates it and maps it for the benefit of other drivers, showing different colours for each road depending on its quality.
Last month ITS Ukraine met with Jevgen Zhurer from stfalcon, the company that developed the app and we had an interesting discussion about Ukrainian transport, local solution providers and about the history of the company and the road app.
It’s clear that they have a talented and successful team in place and they’re a shining example of the creativity and engineering talent which is developing in Ukraine. Hopefully their success will inspire others to implement their own transport app ideas in the near future and if projects such as MOBiNET succeed in creating a standardised marketplace for transport services, perhaps their existing data can be distributed to other apps and services across Europe.