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Winter Driving Trouble? There's an App for That

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Winter Survival Kit app

A woman poses with a smartphone displaying the Winter Survival Kit application, which was developed by Myriad Devices, a start-up company at North Dakota State University. The bright red "I'm Stranded" button helps motorists more quickly reach out for hel

Credit: Amber Hunt

North Dakota State University (NDSU) researchers have developed Winter Survival Kit, a free iPhone and Android application that helps motorists prepare for winter driving and provides a beacon when accidents occur.

The app can pinpoint a motorist's location, call 911, notify friends and family, and monitor how long the gas will last. "If one person does have to use it and it keeps them in their car or keeps them from succumbing to carbon monoxide poisoning, then it is definitely worth the time and effort that was spent on the app," says NDSU's Bob Bertsch.

The Winter Survival Kit also helps drivers prepare for bad weather by inputting phone and policy numbers for insurance and roadside assistance, and designated emergency contacts. The app, which works in the U.S. and Canada, is one of several that have been designed to help smartphone users in a bind. Bertsch and NDSU computer engineering major Jake Joraanstad also developed H20, a program designed to help North Dakota residents deal with the severe flooding the state has experienced in the past few years by providing road closure maps, river level information, and news feeds.

From Associated Press
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