Auburn University Safety app offers virtual buddy system

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Auburn, Ala. (WSFA) Something that’s been said time and time again is to use the buddy system when walking somewhere. Auburn University officials know that may not always be an option so they created a way to have a virtual friend make sure you get to your destination safely.

That's done with the friend walk feature on the Auburn Safety app. It can be used both on and off campus during walks, bike rides, and even while using a ride share service.

AU Campus Safety Communications Specialist, Brooke Bailey, tells us how it works.

“They can share their location temporarily with the person that they choose and they can do this by using the app. They touch a button that says start friend walk,” Bailey says. “They then choose the person that they want to share this with. It can be a family member, a friend, a roommate, whoever it is. The person that then receives it will clink a link and it will open up a map and it will show that person’s location as a dot and it will show their destination. As they move that dot moves with their location. Once they get to that final destination, they hit end trip and they’ll be disconnected and their location will no longer be shared.”

Students say that they are grateful for the app feature.

“I think that’s awesome. I think that would be really helpful for a lot of students. I think in this day and age it’s really dangerous to just walk around and be by yourself so I think that’d be a huge help for our students,” Julia Domanico says.

“I think that’s so awesome. Technology is just booming off and doing so many great things. That with the buddy system is so genius and I will definitely be using that,” Kynslie Barnett says.

“I’ll use it too because it’s hard, sometimes you can’t get a friend to walk with you in the parking lot at night or something. You read stories all the time about sex trafficking and it’s really scary so it’s nice to have a security blanket when it doesn’t always work out for you to have someone to walk with,” Gracie Apel says.

The app is free to download in the Apple and Google store.

Read the original version of this article at wsfa.com.