Mobile app 'Rudder' aims to get you home quicker - and safer...


Rudder, developed by University of Michigan graduates Hannah Dow and Steve Coffey, is a brand new mobile app that incorporates a city’s street light data and coherent turn-by-turn directions to display the quickest, best-illuminated route home. The point of this may not be immediately obvious to everyone, but there is a very good reason behind it...

In a survey commissioned by the Telegraph in January 2015, it was found that one in three female students has been assaulted, sexually or otherwise, on poorly lit UK campuses. It also found that one in eight male students has endured a similar experience.

Let there be light...

Walking home in the dark isn’t a particularly pleasant experience, but one that many of us endure on a regular, if not daily basis. "The experience of travelling at night is just completely different than during the day. It’s harder to see, and even if you know where you’re going, it’s easier to miss landmarks and street signs at night," says Dow.

Rudder aims to address this by providing directions that only include routes with adequately appointed street lighting. The app’s algorithm won’t take you any more than five to eight minutes out of your way and also allows your smartphone’s camera to act as a serviceable light meter.

A navigation app unlike any other...

The proliferation of mobile applications in recent years means that Rudder is something of a rarity. In a digital age where my phone can track my sleeping patterns, control my boiler or allow me to ruthlessly machine gun an oncoming horde of bloodthirsty zombies, it has become increasingly difficult for developers to create something unique, interesting or genuinely useful.

Rudder is already causing a stir though, and with additional functionality already planned; from sharing your journey’s progress with friends and family to providing the option to manipulate your route based on distance or lighting, it seems clear that the two co-creators have high hopes for an app that offers a genuinely useful solution to a genuinely real problem in today’s heavily saturated app landscape.

Upon launch, Rudder will only be available to university students in a select few US cities. While unfortunate, it’s probably best to remember that a tiny platform known as Facebook started life under a similar set of restrictions, but swelled to become the ubiquitous, all-consuming social media juggernaut we all know and love today…

 


2 thoughts on “Mobile app 'Rudder' aims to get you home quicker - and safer...”

  • Hannah Dow

    Hi Andrew!



    I'm Hannah Dow, one of the creators of Rudder and my partner Steve and I want to thank you for your fantastic article on Rudder. We can't even begin to tell you how great it makes us feel to have someone as excited about the app as we are. The support you have shown is fantastic and because of your words, we are pushing to get support for Rudder in many cities outside the US and allow for anyone within supported city limits to use the app, not just university students.



    We are additionally writing to happily announce that Rudder has finally made its way to the app store as a free download! We still believe that Rudder has the potential to change how people approach nighttime travel and would love if you could continue to support the app and our mission to help people become more aware of their surroundings.



    Please contact us if you'd like any more information on Rudder and thank you again for your time and support Andrew! Keep writing!







    Cheers,

    Hannah & Steve

    ___



    Hannah Dow

    Co-Founder/Designer, Rudder



    Steve Coffey

    Co-Founder/Engineer, Rudder



    Mobile: (248) 219-2883

    Facebook: facebook.com/walkrudder

    Reply
    • Andrew Moss

      Hi Hannah & Steve,

      Thanks for your comment - it's lovely to hear from the brains behind such a fantastic app!

      I had a lot of fun reading and writing about Rudder's potential and it's great to hear that it's now available for download. Congratulations!

      Be sure to keep me in the loop on how things are going, especially if you find yourselves considering bringing Rudder to the UK.

      Keep up the good work!
      Andrew

      Reply
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