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Driver app takes tech-savvy students into the fast lane

4th December 2015

Two digital trainees from Barking & Dagenham College have secured a £7,000 competition win with their Learning Tom smart phone app prototype, designed to cut the cost of driving lessons and car insurance premiums.

Harnessing driver performance data

The students, Milady Capitan, aged 19 from Dagenham and Jessie Johns, 18, from East Ham, who are both studying for a BTEC Extended Diploma in IT, used driver performance data supplied for the competition by leading telematics provider, TomTom Telematics. Would-be drivers could use the app to learn the basics before getting behind the wheel.


BeMyApp UK ConnectedLife Challenge sponsored by Allianz Worldwide Partners, is a 49-day challenge culminating in stamina-sapping a 36 hour “hackathon”.

Competition partners, TomTom Telematics, provided acceleration, cornering, braking and gear-shifting data gathered by their LINK 100 (pictured above) connected car technology. TomTom Telematics works with leading insurance companies across Europe to offer LINK 100 data as evidence to secure lower insurance premiums for drivers, an idea which is gaining in popularity in the UK.

The device plugs into the OBD-II port of a vehicle to provide a wide range of driver behaviour and vehicle diagnostics data, connecting with other devices via Bluetooth.


The winning students were supported by their mentor and digital champion, Ellen Kerr, who said,

"I am extremely proud of the students. There are exciting times for them ahead.

"This is the second win for Milady and Jessie, as they were runners-up in a pan-European EULife Competition Challenge earlier in November, where they were the only women coders in Europe to enter.”

Next generation of developers

George de Boer, International Alliance Manager at TomTom Telematics, said:

“Milady and Jessie did a great job in using the rich driver performance data provided by the LINK 100 device to create an app that could help to make drivers’ lives easier. TomTom is proud to support innovation aimed at helping motorists drive more safely and efficiently, particularly working with the next generation of developers.”

Internet of Things

Christian Locher, Innovation Manager at Allianz Worldwide Partners*, said about the Hackathon,

“We reached out to London’s innovation community because we see a lot of potential in smart devices and the Internet of Things. However, it’s not about connecting everything because it’s technically possible but how this can really improve our daily lives. With our Connected Life Challenge we want to show how our service and assistance offerings combined with the smart technology of our partners can do exactly that for specific issues the hackathon participants have identified.”

“Learning Tom is a fantastic idea. Actually I even don’t know if Milady and Jessie already realised all the potential their idea has. But their app brings actually life to telematics, which is currently more a passive instalment in a car instead of helping the driver. Learning Tom solves a real problem: Helping young drivers to get their driving licenses and educate them about safety on the roads which is also something an insurance company cares about.”

“Besides that, we were really impressed by their professionalism and dedication to the challenge, and also about Ellen’s support and engagement for her students.”

You can view their Learning Tom pitch by following this link.

Follow the competition's Twitter feed #aphack

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