A Dundee tech firm has plans to revolutionise driving lessons through its new app.
The bosses at GoRoadie also want to create jobs in the city, with their long-term aim to grow their business internationally.
The company, founded by Michael Carr and Barry White, allows learner drivers to search for and book their ideal driving instructor.
The GoRoadie Pro app takes things a step further.
It offers progress tracking, lesson scheduling and lesson reminders for learner drivers.
The app has been developed in partnership with local driving instructors.
Work on the app began shortly before Christmas, since the tech firm won a £60,000 prize at Scottish Edge.
Michael Carr, chief executive of GoRoadie, said: “We want to be innovating this industry not only in Dundee, or in Scotland, but internationally.
“We want to change the dynamic of instructors and learner drivers.
“We want learners to ‘check in’ to their lessons, and that stops them not showing up the next day or cancelling at the very last minute.
“That is one of the biggest challenges is when people cancel at short notice.
“With Covid, when they’re checking in we can also check that they don’t have symptoms and remind them to wear a mask.”
Michael said he wants to help driving instructors to “work smarter”.
He said: “The driving instructors we’ve worked with to develop the app are some of the hardest working people.
“All we’re doing is to get them hours back.
“We’ve found that at 9pm or on their days off at the weekend, they would be planning the week ahead. It’s about helping them to work smarter.”
The feedback so far has been positive, with the app welcomed by instructors and learners.
Graeme Gray from RoadCraft Driving School, also chairman of the local driving instructor association, said: “I’ve been working with GoRoadie since last year.
“Everything they do is focused on making businesses like mine more efficient.”
Paul Heary, who runs city-based Paul Heary Driving School, said: “Working with the guys at GoRoadie has been easy.
“They genuinely are listening to what we are saying.”
Modernising the industry
Michael explained the benefits for learners.
He said: “A lot of instructors use progress cards to show learners how they are doing, but now through the app, the learner can go through and check notes from the instructor. It’s much more structured and interactive.
“We’re starting construction of our learner app soon.
“That will allow learners to request additional lessons, and ask questions any time they want.
“They will also get a notification saying the instructor is 10 minutes away, so get ready for the lesson. Uber does that, so why can’t we?
“I want to modernise the industry. We think we can make a real difference.”
The company took on its first new hire last November and a second job – for a marketing and sales executive – is currently being advertised.
Michael has ambitions of growing the team further.
He added: “This year we’ll definitely be making our second hire – marketing – in the next month or two.
“We’ve always been passionate about creating a really great tech company, and jobs, in Dundee so we want in the next three years to grow to a team of 20.”
More instructors required
Michael issued a plea for more Dundee-based instructors to help him refine the app, with plans for a wider launch this summer.
“We really want more Dundee drivers to help us with testing.
“We want more real-world feedback,” he added.
“In July, we’re aiming to do our big launch and get more instructors from across the country using the app.
“Before we go national, we want to make sure this is a 10/10 app.”