Ever stuck in a jam and wondering what the driver ahead of you is seeing? Or perhaps you always wanted to live your dream of being a traffic reporter? Well that's the idea behind the Aha Mobile app (@AhaMobile), a driver-to-driver community which just launched data for South Florida roads this week. The app actually launched two weeks ago for the California area, and expanded this week to Fort Lauderdale and Miami, as well as Dallas and San Antonio, Seattle and Washington D.C.
The free app gives drivers audio details of traffic situations, and you can see delays at a glance. Drivers can record their own 15-second audio report of what problems they're seeing. The "shout" out is added to your local area's traffic.
If you're hunting for a bathroom or food, there's a nearby button that will alert you to places along the way.
And if you're really bored in traffic, you can sing along in the car for 15-seconds to the radio and send it to the "Caraoke" room, and other drivers can rate your singing. (Oy.Traffic is bad enough here, people. Why make the commute more painful with karaoke?) And something that I'm sure South Florida drivers will get use out of is the "#%& Drivers" room, where you can mouth-off for 15 seconds about how much you hate crazy drivers.
Aha Mobile CEO Robert Acker said right now the goal is to get as many people using it as possible -- hence why it is a free app -- but that someday there might be a paid version.
"I think we'll probably always have the basic set of features for free," Acker said.
A few weeks ago I wrote about the dangers of texting while driving, and an app like this is clearly designed for use in a car, and therefore could be a distraction for drivers. But Acker said this app was designed super simple with only a few huge buttons so a driver only has to glance. And the audio traffic reports keep driver's eyes on the road, instead of reading a screen.
The way he sees it, drivers stuck in traffic are already going to try to pull up traffic info on their phones -- so might as well create an app that makes it quick and easy to get that info, instead of trying to pull up a website.
"We did all that to make it as safe as possible," Acker said. "Of course we hope people use common sense while using the app while driving."