A local start-up called ProvLabs has developed a solution that enables individuals looking to get a Zimbabwean learner’s drivers license to practice for the test on their PCs. The application, which we had an opportunity to check out, is a test simulator with over 650 questions, 300 diagram questions and time limit controls in much the same way the learners would have at the real test. The application also has specimen exams and a full catalogue of Zimbabwe’s traffic signs and signals.
We spoke to ProvLabs founder, Ndafara Tsamba, about their new project. He told us they are on a mission to enable easy access and use of provisional licence study material. “The method available [booklets you got from the street] are cumbersome to use and just didn’t cut it. For instance, you have to write on a piece of paper, go to the back page to mark your solutions and so on. We wanted to automate this process and add in extra things that you don’t get on the traditional way of practising for the learner’s licence” explained Tsamba.
The one thing that came to mind immediately after learning about ProvLabs was, “does it have an internet version so we don’t have to install it on a PC, and also so it can be used on a number of platforms and devices?” Tsamba’s response is that with the local market, they’ve found it’s actually the opposite; “One of the most common things we are asked by a prospective customer is, ‘does it need internet?’” Tsamba says. He explains that this has taught them that most people actually prefer a product that doesn’t require the internet to work. Understandably so, the internet doesn’t come free. They are however working on a web and mobile version, just not at the top of the priority list.
Tsamba also told us that ProvLabs is not their primary game, just part of it. “ProvLabs is our go-to market product on a suite of products. We will be releasing OLabs (Ordinary Level Study Packs), ALabs (Advanced Level Study Packs) and the LabsEngine which will allow institutions to create their own study packs for their students effortlessly. We figured, if we can make one product work we can make the others work when we launch them so right now we are just concentrating on one product and getting feedback,” he explained.
So far ProvLabs has partnered local driving schools like Elite Driving School in Harare whom them provide the software for onward selling (the licenses that is) to their driving lessons students. Tsamba also says that they are currently in negotiations with CMED’s Easy Go Driving School to widen the choice. And it doesn’t end there; they are also in talks with an Internet Cafe in Harare to have booths where people can come in and use the software if they don’t have access to Computers.
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