Road Safety GB has developed a ‘world-first’ augmented reality teaching resource, which will be evaluated over the next two years thanks to funding provided by the DfT.
The app, ‘Arility’, uses augmented reality – where virtual objects are layered over real world settings – to deliver engaging travel and road safety information to primary school aged children.
With 360 degree visuals and entertaining sound effects, children interact directly with augmented reality characters to identify risks and learn to make safe choices.
The resource will test children on a range of common scenarios, including how to use a pedestrian crossing, retrieving a ball from the road and how to cross the road with a bike.
Michael Ellis, road safety minister, said: “Road safety is a priority for the DfT. It is vital that we find new ways to make sure young people learn about and are interested in road safety.
“This exciting project will help schools deliver engaging lessons for pupils, and I’m delighted to hear that it’s already having a positive effect in its trial runs.”
The app is being trialed at Westgate Primary School in Warwickshire – with teachers describing it as a ‘fun and interesting’ way to engage children on important road safety topics.
The app and associated resources will be available from 2 September – to coincide with the start of the 2019/20 school year – on the Road Safety GB website. The resource will also be made available to all Road Safety GB member organisations.
Alan Kennedy, executive director of Road Safety GB, said: “The resource will be made available to every primary and junior school in the UK and therefore millions of children will have the opportunity to be involved in this new learning experience.
“Road safety teams across the UK will present Arility to children in their local schools, opening up many future opportunities to work with teachers and pupils, and enhancing child road safety across the UK.”
Road Safety GB will also use part of the £200k funding to carry out research into the effectiveness of classroom based road safety education and to determine if children can retain the knowledge learned and demonstrate the correct behaviours over a period of time.