A simple yet effective navigation service aimed at guiding pedestrians from point A to point B through the safest routes on foot won the judges heart at the recent Safety on Streets (SOS) Challenge.

The app, Walk Tune, by a trio team of students from help university is linked to a mapping service which highlights pedestrian crossings, proper footpaths and high-risk areas to help pedestrians stay safe.

With prevention as the best form of protection, the team’s idea was targeted at reducing the high rates of road fatalities in Malaysia which affect not only motorists but pedestrians as well.

It was also intended as a community-friendly tool which allows users to update others and provide reports to local municipal councils on areas for improvements.

The team received Best Idea award and took home the grand prize of RM5,000 cash. Each team member received a one-year personal accident insurance and three-month internship with Tune Protect, a digital insurer under the Tune Group of Companies.

Nicole Kiew, 18, said being pedestrians inspired the team to come up with the idea of an app that solved problems of pedestrians and showed the safest route.

“Pedestrians are really the most vulnerable group of people in comparison to those who drive cars. Being frequent pedestrians ourselves, we felt this was an app that was very important and relatable to people including tourists,” said James Lau, the second member of Team Green Light.

Wan Nor Mafudah always shares her knowledge with coursemates.

Kiew added that their main focus was to attract tourists as many know that tourists love to walk around the city and other parts of the country, hence this app could help them to do so, safely.

“We were so excited and also surprised that we won as we initially started the team just to have fun. We will definitely go on to join more competitions like this as it gives us the opportunity to learn new things and meet people we would not have met before,” said Lau, while his teammate, Max Yong beamed with joy.

Lau hoped to see their app being launched beyond the concept stage. “We did all this after classes, brainstorming while cracking jokes. It started off as a small thing but it grew, so much so that we are proud of it.”

Coming in at second place was Team Hoff from KDU University College whose app idea limits a driver’s phone usage while driving, which is a key factor in many road accidents.

In third place, Team Carma from Multimedia University presented a concept that combined three elements — a game, rewards and guardianship through parental notification into a single app.

Their creativity won each team RM3,000 and RM2,000 respectively, while each team member also received a one-year personal accident insurance and a three-month internship with Tune Protect.

The SOS Challenge launched in June, was developed in partnership with the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), the Road Safety Department Malaysia (JKKR) and Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

Tune Protect Group Berhad head, People and Culture Yap Hsu Yi said the challenge was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility programme that covered road safety and it was

a competition open to university students.

Students, James Lau (center), Max Yong and Nicole Kew (right) at Wisma Tune, Damansara Heights. Picture by Aziah Azmee

“It is to invite tertiary students in Malaysia to conceptualise ideas for a road safety application with the intention of improving road safety in Malaysia.”

In total, nine teams were shortlisted to the finals where they participated in an inspiring weekend at the IDEATE Bootcamp in Cyberjaya.

During that time, teams were given the opportunity to hear from renowned industry experts on topics such as ‘Design Thinking’, ‘Idea Validation’, ‘Business Model Canvas’ and ‘Effective Pitching’.

As the finale of the Bootcamp, teams presented their ideas to the judging panel, consisting of representatives from Tune Protect, MaGIC, JKKR, MDEC and Tune Labs.

Yap said the company wanted to put a different spin to the challenge so that they came out with a digital angle while targeting the youth segment.

“They are very young, talented and tech savvy — hence able to work towards the digital platform.

“We intend to continue and need to fine tune for the next challenge. We are very fortunate to have some really good industry partners that we leverage from their feedback and suggestions,” Yap said.

“As a leader in the digital sphere, we wanted to champion a digital initiative and through the SOS Challenge, we gave university students an opportunity to make a positive impact in the real world while learning about ideation, entrepreneurship and creativity from our expert partners,” Yap added.

“The quality of submissions we received was highly encouraging and we hope to see great things from these bright young students in the future,” said Tune Protect Group Bhd group

chief executive officer Razman Hafidz Abu Zarim.