Driving can be dangerous and frustrating no matter where you live in the world. In fact, according to a recent report by the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 million people die in road crashes every year—a disturbing statistic.

It's a growing problem that five students from NYU Abu Dhabi are hoping to curb with a mobile driving app designed to track road conditions and monitor driving habits. The end goal: create safer conditions for everybody on their way from point A to point B.

RoadWatch—the winning entry in the university category at the UAE m-Government Service Awards—is a personal driving assistant on a smartphone that encourages drivers to follow the rules of the road and warns of adverse conditions like bad weather, a collision, or an approaching ambulance. No more waiting for radio traffic reports to find out what's going on ahead.

It also has a smartwatch feature to monitor a driver's heart rate and even assess sleepiness behind the wheel.

Driving statistics collected from users are anonymously fed back to the government to assist with road building and identify trouble spots where drivers brake abruptly, swerve sharply, or get stuck in traffic.

RoadWatch Wins AED 1 Million
NYUAD's RoadWatch team accepts a giant check for AED 1 million at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

It was an incredibly inspiring and empowering process to build our imagination into reality.

Quan Ho Vuong, Class of 2017

Maitha Salem Al Memari (Class of 2018) said, “It is an honour to be able to work on a project for the benefit of both government and the people of the UAE and to work with a diverse team of students with a common interest of giving back to the UAE community."

The team presented their app at the third annual World Government Summit and were awarded AED 1 million for placing first in the university category, which saw 94 entries from 21 universities.

The Winners

Quan Ho Vuong (Class of 2017), Vietnam
Maitha Salem Al Memari (Class of 2018), UAE
Kai-Erik Marechal Jensen (Class of 2017), Brazil
Kenny Song (Class of 2017), US
Lingliang Zhang (Class of 2016), New Zealand

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