Before we begin, it is important to point out that this app is based on the use of Bike Share. For those of you who don’t know about Bike Share, it is basically a bike system run by the city that helps you to get around. You start by renting out a bike from a nearby station, you do your thing, then return it. There are stations scattered throughout the city, and you can bike anywhere you want, as long as you return the bike to any of these stations.
So, one interesting feature about Bike Share’s payment model is that after having paid for a day pass, your first 30 minutes are free, and then you are charged by the minute. So, if you don’t check-in to a station within that time, you will automatically get charged on your credit card. As hackers, we saw this as an opportunity. We always ask ourselves, how could we maximize our returns? In this case, how far can we get, for free?
What it does
Bike Bud is a mobile app that takes your current location and helps you localize the nearest Bike Share station. Not only that, but from there, you can choose your city, and then particular areas of interest from the home screen, such as the CN tower or Cherry Beach, and Bike Bud will map out your itinerary from station to station, keeping your costs low.
As an app that aims to save our users money, we intend to keep Bike Bud free. However, that is not to say that we don’t have a revenue plan. Based on a user’s previous routes or while planning a new one, Bike Bud could host ads for restaurants, events or shops that are nearby. This not only helps out companies with exposure but also shows users what they might be missing while getting from point A to point B.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
- Building the graph from the Google Maps API and finding the shortest path
- Setting up Cockroach DB on Google Cloud
- Looking for swag
Accomplishments that we're proud of
What we learned
Algorithm design is hard :(
What's next for Bike Bud
- Optimized graph algorithm
- Ad integration
- More cities