Flickr / Elliott Brown
Flickr / Elliott Brown

Medical students at the University of Birmingham create environmentally friendly car-sharing app

Using their free time during the COVID-19 pandemic, two Birmingham medical students have created a car-sharing app which can contribute to the cost of renewable energy projects.

Third year students Daniel Chivers and Michael Trueman designed the app ‘Commute’ for medical students, in an effort to generate an eco-positive impact on the thousands of miles medical students often travel.

The app requires users to input their starting and final destinations, the car’s fuel efficiency, and the price of fuel, in order to calculate ‘personal miles’. The app then makes suggestions for how much they should voluntarily pay towards renewable energy projects in order to counterbalance their individual carbon emissions. 

Automatic calculations have cut out the need for “laborious and inaccurate” processes to work out how much each person owes the driver, while encouraging young people to commit funds to renewable energy projects. 

 

There are a lot of eco-conscious students. You have to make drastic changes about how we live to minimise the impact on the environment

– Michael Trueman, Student and App Designer

With the average Birmingham medical student travelling over 3,000 miles a year for clinical placements alone, Mr Chivers felt there was “a need” for the app.  

While schemes include establishing wind farms and attaching solar panels to houses, the app also takes commission from users’ individual contributions. 

Mr Chivers and Mr Trueman aim to evolve the app past just medical students and develop their 200 users by forming networks in 10 other universities by the end of the year. 

The app makes the task of recording and monitoring miles travelled and the negative environmental impact far less complicated for users, giving them an accurate depiction of the donations needed to make up their damaging effects. With everyone pitching in, they concluded that for just £1 per 70 miles, all the drivers could become carbon neutral. 

‘Commute’ is now available for download on both iOS devices and Android, under their simple slogan ‘Drive, Split, Offset’.

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