DriveSmart wins Rep. Rich McCormick’s 2023 Congressional App Challenge in Georgia’s Sixth District

Rep. McCormick has named Sahiti Dasari and Rohan Raparla of South Forsyth High School as the winners of the 2023 Congressional App Challenge in Georgia’s Sixth District.

When asked what inspired the creation of DriveSmart, the students said, “Over 7.3 million motor vehicle accidents occur each year in just the United States alone. Moreover, the number one cause of automobile accidents is distracted driving. And with the growing number of teens and new drivers on the road, the statistics are alarming with teen crash rates being more than four times greater than those of adult drivers. In fact, automobile accident rates are about 1.5 times higher for 16-year-olds than for 18-19-year-olds.

As new drivers ourselves, we were inspired by these statistics and personal stories to create an ultimate solution and hopefully save lives. We’ve personally confronted the problems of not knowing where to start or not having a constant resource to answer questions, and our app covers all these areas through safe driving modules, machine learning route guidance, real-time fatigue and distraction detection, and driver behavior monitoring.”

This year’s Challenge saw an unprecedented level of participation, with 374 Members of the House of Representatives hosting competitions, surpassing the previous record of 340. A remarkable 11,334 students from across the United States competed in this year’s Challenge, marking an impressive increase of nearly 1,000 participants compared to the previous record set in 2019. The enthusiasm and creativity these students display is a testament to the growing interest in technology and signal a bright future for American innovation. The surge of ingenuity continued with a whopping 3,645 original applications flooding in, nearly a thousand more than the previous year’s high. This remarkable growth showcases the exceptional talent and innovation within our nation’s youth.

The Congressional App Challenge is an official initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives, where Members of Congress host contests in their districts for middle school and high school students, encouraging them to learn to code and inspiring them to pursue careers in computer science. This resounding show of bipartisan support emphasizes the critical importance of STEM education in today’s rapidly evolving world. Each participating Member of Congress selects a winning app from their district, and each winning team is invited to showcase their winning app to Congress during our annual #HouseOfCode festival. The program is a public-private partnership made possible through funding from Omidyar Network, AWS, Rise, theCoderSchool, Apple, and others.

The 2024 Congressional App Challenge will launch in May of 2024, and eligible students can pre-register for the competition now.