UK pupils to benefit from augmented reality app

12.48 | 30 April 2019 | | 3 comments

Teachers across the UK will soon be able to bring road safety lessons to life, with the help of a ‘world-first’ augmented reality app being made available by Road Safety GB.

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.

It will be made available to all Road Safety GB members free of charge, for them in turn to distribute to primary schools in their area after it is launched in May 2019.

With 360 degree visuals and entertaining sound effects, children interact directly with augmented reality characters to identify risks and learn to make safe choices.

Arility is already in use in primary schools across Australia and will soon be available in the UK thanks to a partnership between Road Safety GB, Western Australia’s Constable Care Child Safety Foundation and the IT company DSBS.

Alan Kennedy, executive director of Road Safety GB, says Arility is an ideal tool for young children to experience various risky scenarios in a safe place, such as the classroom.

The resource will be made available to all Road Safety GB member organisations – thereby giving millions of children the opportunity to engage with the new learning experience.

Alan Kennedy said: “Providing local authority road safety teams across the UK with the opportunity to gift Arility to their local schools will open up many future opportunities to work with teachers and young children and enhance child road safety across the UK.”

The app, which incorporates pre and post evaluation, addresses specific road safety risks for child cyclists and pedestrians and teaches children to identify dangers and make safe choices.

The app creators say augmented reality has been shown to be a more effective, engaging and memorable way of learning and more.

Arility has been customised to incorporate UK road rules, streetscapes and typical travel scenarios and will be available on iPad and Android platforms.



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    Tests by Prof John Wann at Royal Holloway, University of London found that at speeds above 20mph , primary age children may not be able to detect cars approaching.(i)

    and Prof Jodie Plumert of University of Iowa found that children up to their early teenage years had difficulty consistently crossing the street safely, with collisions rates as high as 1 in 20 for a 10 year-old attempting to cross a road with 25mph traffic. It was not until the age of 14 that collisions were avoided.(ii)

    Will the training therefore recognise that the immature cognitive skills in primary age children will determine that regardless of the amount of training given, a road which endorses motor vehicles at up to 30mph will leave children unable to cope with crossing such a road without putting their lives at risk.

    Will Road Safety Practitioners advise parents that these risks persist where children are exposed to crossing situations where vehicles are permitted to be driven at 30mph?

    (i) Wann, Poulter, Purcell -Reduced Sensitivity to Visual Looming Inflates the Risk Posed by Speeding Vehicles When Children Try to Cross the Road

    (ii) Jiang, Rahiman, Kearny, Yon – Why children struggle to cross busy streets safely

    Rod King, Warrington
    Agree (2) | Disagree (4)

    Hi Keith, we are aiming for end of May but we do not have a specific date as yet. We are currently testing the software and once this is completed, there will be a few other ‘techy’ protocols to follow before it can be available in App/Play stores.

    In the meantime we will be preparing the materials you need when approaching your schools. These will be downloadable from the members area. The schools will simply need to download the app for either IOS or Android on each of the tablets they will be using, and you will then be able to work with them. The resource is very intuitive and you can be up and running a lesson within a minute.

    We will keep everyone up to date as we get closer to launch date.

    Alan Kennedy, Durham
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Is there a date in May when it will be available for RSOs etc to download/view and then get ready to promote to schools etc? I’m doing mail out for Yr 6 transition – along with rest of Sussex – after half-term so would be ideal to go with this. Too many school e-mails and they tend to ignore.

    Keith Baldock, Brighton
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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