Free App Idea: Open Road

I have been thinking about this idea for quite a while now, approached a few developers I know to see if they wanted to take the idea and run with it, but now I just want the app. So here is my idea, you can have and I only ask for two things in return for you taking this idea:

  1. That you get me on the beta.
  2. That you charge for the app.

Now that that is out of the way, my idea is essentially a Dark Sky like app for traffic. The idea is simple: when I am driving down the road and I see traffic coming up I always have two questions, ‘how bad’ and ‘how long’. Of course right now I grab my iPhone and pop open Google Maps and take a look at the traffic. That’s not ideal though for a couple of reasons:

  1. I often turn off the traffic data on Google Maps so that I can see the street names.
  2. Google Maps zooms in on the area where you are, but that’s often too close to see the traffic ahead since Google centers your location on the screen.

Google Maps is just too cumbersome to try and use (safely or not) while you are driving a car. Enter “Open Road” (you are welcomed to choose your own name, I just need something to refer to).

The Idea

My idea for Open Road is to create an app that does one thing: shows you the traffic ahead of you in a quick and glance-able format so that it can be used one handed without much thought or interaction while you drive. Here’s how I envision this looking:

The main interface.

All that you see is a screen with a heat map, the distances from you, and the road that the app thinks you are on. Green is open road, yellow is slower, orange sucks, red is the makings of a bad day. Pretty simple, here’s some more mockups:

Now you might notice I changed the distances in the screenshots. The way I see the app working is that a driver can slide his finger up or down the screen to change the distance of the traffic from him. Perhaps I am only driving for another 5 miles on this road and I need to know if I can tough out the traffic — maybe I am on a long haul for 100 miles.

This is the idea in a nutshell.

The Warning

iOS 6 is bringing a new map platform with crowd sourced traffic data. I have no clue how this looks or works, but there is potential it could compete with an app like this. I do not however see Apple making an app like this, but if they enabled push notifications of upcoming traffic then it’s game over.

That’s All

If you like the idea run with it. Good luck.

Let me just state again that I won’t pay for someone to develop this, and I certainly do not want any kind of equity or my name attached to any apps you may build. The idea is one I had, but the execution (the hard part) is all you.

Originally posted for members on: July 13, 2012
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