LARS stands for 'Leerlingen App Rijd Samen' (App for Students Driving Together). But it is also Patrick's son "Lars", who goes to a special school in Netherlands.
Normally Lars goes to school in a special bus, but often parents will bring their children to school themselves. The app makes it possible for parents to pick up other children along their route and connect the social and educational lives of these children. It's an app that increases efficiency, self-sustainability and citizen participation.
Through discussions with municipalities, schools and advisors, we concluded that 10 to 15 percent of the students could use LARS. Figures from 2012 and 2013 show that around 79,000 students use student transportation. This is an average of 194 students per municipality. The costs are around 230 million euros; around 500k per municipality and 2,9k per student. The LARS app could not only improve the social lives of these children with special needs but also save the municipalities money.
LARS won the 2015 Computable Award in the Education category
The most prestigious Tech award in Netherlands. The jury was impressed by the way the problem was addressed through creative thinking that has led to a simple yet effective solution whereby a vulnerable group is brought out of their social isolation. Children can get to school and back home easily with this app, but also make play dates. The parents run the service, and school plays a central role in the coordination: everybody is happy. Real innovations should be convenient and lead to a better life.
I was the Product Designer, and below
is my interactive prototype.
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